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welsh government logo cb 1November 21 2017

Recruitment into GP training places in Wales has passed the target set for this year. The Wales Deanery has said that 144 GP training places have been filled, passing the target of 136. This compares to the 121 GP trainees recruited in 2016.

The Welsh Government has welcomed the news, saying that it represents success for its international and UK-wide ‘Train Work Live’ campaign to promote Wales as “an excellent place for doctors”. This has included two financial incentive schemes:

  • a targeted scheme offering a £20,000 incentive to GP trainees taking up posts in specified areas with a trend of low fill rates;
  • a universal scheme offering a one-off payment for all GP trainees to cover the cost of one sitting of their final examinations.

Areas that have traditionally found it difficult to recruit – Ceredigion, North East Wales, North West Wales and Pembrokeshire – have all achieved 100% fill rates this year.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said the level of enrolment “shows our marketing campaign has been a great success and Wales really is a great place to train, work and live.

“There are a number of benefits for doctors coming to Wales, including an Education Contract for junior doctors, the first in the UK. It guarantees ring-fenced time for learning within the working week to ensure trainee doctors will have access to a wide range of educational opportunities to support their career development.”

Mr Gething re-launched the medical campaign in October with the incentives continuing for next year. The scheme has also been extended to encourage trainee psychiatrists to come to Wales.

RCGP Wales Chair, Dr Rebecca Payne, commented: “I am delighted at the Health Secretary's news that all GP training places have been filled and that additional capacity has been created for those doctors choosing to train, work and live in Wales. This is an important milestone and a step on the journey towards training the 200 GPs per year that we need for Wales.”

In 2016, RCGP Wales launched ‘Transform’, a “roadmap for transformation” which outlined the steps that need to be taken to strengthen general practice. It called on the Government to run a major recruitment campaign to help address the GP shortage.

“Train Work Live has been a positive campaign and I am glad that we are seeing it pay off,” said Dr Payne. “We need to expand the GP workforce by 485 GPs by 2021 and the increase in GP trainees is real progress towards this. I now encourage the Welsh Government to go one step further and boost the numbers of GP training places to 200 a year and do more to encourage existing GPs to stay in the profession for longer.”

Links:
Welsh Government announcement        
RCGP Wales announcement     

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