Trainee GPs will receive £20,000 to work in parts of the country struggling to recruit.
The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has today (12 October 2017) announced a package of measures to try to recruit GPs to parts of the country that struggle to attract sufficient numbers.
Cornwall is one area that has found it difficult to recruit trainee doctors and GP practices are struggling to cope.
A one off payment of £20,000 will be made to GP trainees committed to working in a select number of training places – including Cornwall.
The 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.
From 2018, surgeries in hard-to-recruit-to areas will benefit from a new government-backed scheme – the Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme.
The Department of Health has also asked Health Education England (HEE) to make sure many of the 1,500 additional medical training places that will be funded from next year are located in priority areas, including rural and coastal communities.
Speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners Conference in Liverpool, Jeremy Hunt focused on recruitment and retention across general practice, with other measures including:
- new flexible working arrangements, including the opportunity to take on mentoring and leadership roles, for GPs considering retirement
- A new international recruitment office set up by NHS England to help local areas to recruit GPs from overseas, with plans to expand fast-track routes into general practice for doctors trained outside the European Economic Area in countries such as Australia
- a consultation on the regulation of physician associates to provide further clarity on the scope of the role, and exploring how support staff can bolster healthcare teams across the country
Jeremy Hunt said:
“Last month, the Care Quality Commission gave a glowing verdict on the state of general practice in England, but this should not distract us from the fact that the profession is under considerable pressure at the moment.
By introducing targeted support for vulnerable areas and tackling head on critical issues such as higher indemnity fees and the recruitment and retention of more doctors, we can strengthen and secure general practice for the future.
Our talented GP workforce is one of the reasons why we have the best healthcare system in the world, and our commitment of an additional £2.4 billion a year for primary care by 2021 will ensure this continues”
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.
Trainees receive the payment at the beginning of the placement, having signed an agreement to complete the three years, with no relocation option.
The full list of new TERS Areas
- HEE East Midlands – Chesterfield, Lincolnshire (Boston & Lincoln), Sherwood Forest
- HEE East of England – Colchester & Ipswich, Norfolk
- HEE North East – Durham & Tees Valley, North Cumbria
- HEE North West – Blackpool, Crewe, Lancaster, South Cumbria
- HEE South West – Cornwall, Somerset, Swindon
- HEE Wessex – Isle of Wight
- HEE West Midlands – Staffordshire & Shropshire
- HEE Yorkshire and the Humber – Clumber Park, Hull, North Lincolnshire & Grimsby, Scarborough
Feat Image, Kynance Cove Shutterstock / Visit Cornwall