GP trainees up 16% in Wales after successful recruitment drive

GP leaders have welcomed a 16% increase in the number of GP training places filled in Wales at the end of the first recruitment round.

GPC Wales deputy chair Dr David Bailey (Photo: JH Lancy)
GPC Wales deputy chair Dr David Bailey (Photo: JH Lancy)

The Welsh government said that 84% of places had been filled so far, compared with 68% at the same stage last year.

In some areas 100% of places have been filled, including Pembrokeshire, North Wales East and North Wales West.

The increase follows a financial incentive scheme targeted at key areas in Wales as part of a recruitment drive launched last year.

GP training

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said he was confident that fill rates for Ceredigion and North Wales Central scheme would increase in the subsequent recruitment round.

GPC Wales deputy chair Dr David Bailey said the increase was ‘warmly welcomed’ and the BMA had been encouraged by the health secretary’s ‘personal drive’ in the recruitment campaign. ‘Unfilled training places are unsafe and place an additional burden on GPs who are already facing unprecedented pressures,' said Dr Bailey.

‘A strong recruitment campaign must be underpinned by an enhanced benefits package, and combined with innovative thinking to foster effective solutions to workforce problems. Continued improvements of this kind are fundamental for creating a positive experience for doctors working across the length and breadth of Wales, and our hope is that the momentum which has been established so far will carry us forward to finding long term solutions.’

GP workforce

Mr Gething said: ‘We made a commitment in our programme for government to continue to invest in primary care and to take action to attract and train more GPs, nurses and other health professionals to Wales.

‘To support this, in October we launched a major new campaign to promote Wales as an excellent place for doctors, including GPs, and their families, to train, work and live.

‘The results from the Wales Deanery speak for themselves, the campaign has been a success and this is something to celebrate.’

He added: ‘Places for 2017 are being re-advertised and when that process concludes in May I am confident that we will achieve an even higher fill rate,' he added.

Applications for GP training posts in England were also up in the first round for 2017. Health Education England chief executive Professor Ian Cumming told MPs in March that applications for the first round this year were up 4.7% compared with the same stage last year.

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