NHS England has identified 50 practices which will be provided access to £12,000 in bursary support, and employ GPs going through the NHS Returners Scheme after a career break or time abroad.
The healthcare authority has identified certain surgeries which are particularly in need of this form of support.
Each of the practices in question have struggled with recruitment for at least one year.
And additionally, all have applied to participate in the Targeted Investment in Recruiting Returning Doctors Scheme.
This new initiative was officially unveiled in March, with the intention of investing resources in GP practices which can provide adequate evidence that they have historically encountered difficulty in recruiting GPs.
Although still a pilot scheme, it is part of NHS England’s commitment, set out in its General Practice Forward View, to recruit more doctors and target those areas where there are the most severe shortages.
Eight of the practices targeted by the new NHS initiative are located in London, with 12 in the South, and 15 each in the Midlands and North.
In many cases this support, pledged in the 10 point plan for GP recruitment last year, has come late, such as the Kington Medical Practice, Hertfordshire which has previously closed two of its branch surgeries after being unable to recruit.
The scheme enables each practice to access:
– Up to £8,000 in relocation allowances for GPs
– Up to £2,000 in an education bursary
– Up to £2,000 locum cover for when the new GP is undertaking educational sessions
These monies will be utilised in order to relocate and train GPs coming through the returner scheme, who will be required to stay with the practice for at least three years.
The move to support GP practices is clearly welcome, considering the challenges facing general practice in the coming years.
It has already been frequently outlined by experts on the NHS healthcare system that significant investment will be required in general practice in order to ensure that requisite standards are maintained.
And recruitment has arguably been made particularly problematical by the high profile dispute over junior doctors’ contract.
With no end in sight of this particular issue, many believe that young people will be dissuaded from entering the medical profession, and also that many skilled NHS professionals will consider working overseas.
A full list of practices participating in this new scheme can be found on the new NHS.UK website.