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  • GP trainee round 1 recruitment increases 10%

    GP trainee round 1 recruitment increases 10%

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NHS England logoFebruary 3 2016

The Royal College of General Practice has welcomed an incentive scheme to encourage GPs to work in areas currently less well served by general practice.

The Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme in England will offer a one-off bursary of £20,000 to GPs “committed to working in one of 109 training places in England that have been hard to recruit to for the past three years,” the GP National Recruitment Office has announced.

“These areas often have an extremely good track record for education, but are initially less popular simply because of their geographical location. However, those trainees that do come usually stay on after training, as they discover these locations’ hidden attractions,” it said.

Health Education England is targeting the following areas:

  • HE East Midlands – Lincolnshire
  • HE North East - East Cumbria
  • HE North East - West Lakes
  • HE North West - South Cumbria
  • HE North West - Blackpool
  • HE Yorkshire and the Humber - Northern Lincolnshire (Scunthorpe & Grimsby) GP Scheme
  • HE Wessex - Isle of Wight

Applicants are asked to notify the GPNRO of their preferred training location by February 12. The bursary will be paid as a lump sum on starting the training post, and will be administered by the local HEE office. Trainees are advised there may be tax implications.

Some of the recruitment problems stem from an unfamiliarity of an area due to it lacking large towns or not having a medical school nearby. However, “the quality of placements in such areas are at least equivalent to all other placements and are often more highly rated by trainees who work there.

“As these placements are often in smaller communities where a greater number of services need to be delivered locally rather than relying on large teaching hospitals, doctors working in these areas often receive an increased breadth of training and many more opportunities for diversification.” The GPNRO also points out that quality of life may also be better in these areas.

Commenting on the scheme, Dr Maureen Baker, RCGP Chair, said the initiative is something the College has been proposing for some time. “Similar schemes have worked really well for other careers, such as teaching, and we hope it will encourage new GPs to under-doctored areas in the best interests of providing safe care now and in the future, wherever our patients live,” she said.

“Our patients deserve access to good quality, safe general practice services, wherever they live. And GPs deserve to work in safe conditions which means ensuring that practices are appropriately staffed. In areas that are particularly struggling to recruit GPs, often more remote areas, or those with high levels of deprivation, something needs to be done to make living and working there an attractive prospect to potential new recruits.”

Dr Baker pointed out that the scheme is one of the initiatives in a 10-point-plan to build the GP workforce launched last year by the College with NHS England, Health Education England and the BMA. “We will continue to work with the Government and decision makers to ‘recruit, retain, return’ the thousands more GPs necessary to keep our profession – and the wider NHS – sustainable,” she said.

“Of course, such a scheme will take a while to take effect, and in the shorter term, we need NHS England’s upcoming ‘emergency package’ for general practice to include, amongst other things, resilience teams that can be parachuted into practices to stabilise staffing issues, and a return-to-work.”

Links:

GPNRO Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme

RCGP comment

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