£20k 'golden handshake' for Scottish GP trainees as 100 new training posts announced

The Scottish Government and NHS Education for Scotland has created 100 new GP training places in Scotland, with £20,000 incentive payments attached to 37 posts in areas that have struggled to recruit in the past.

RCGP Scotland chairman Dr Miles Mack
RCGP Scotland chairman Dr Miles Mack

The move coincides with a new recruitment drive to encourage more junior doctors to pursue a career in general practice in Scotland.

A series of adverts and a social media campaign will raise awareness of the opportunities that medical training in Scotland provides.

The 100 new training places bring the total number of training posts advertised in Scotland this year to 439, following a recruitment round earlier in the year.

The incentive scheme will offer a one-off bursary payment of £20,000 to GP trainees in 37 training posts in Scotland in areas and programmes that have not been filled in recent years, mainly because of their remote location.

Health secretary Shona Robison said that general practice was the heart of the NHS and becoming more important in Scotland.

'That is why we are investing to recruit more junior doctors into GP training posts – with 100 extra places advertised this year to help build the primary care workforce of the future,’ she added.

‘However, we know there are some parts of the country that have challenges recruiting – mainly because of their geographical location. So we’re offering a financial incentive with certain posts to fill these vital training places. 

‘We are also investing in the future of the profession - developing new ways of working with multidisciplinary teams and refocusing the role of the GP as the expert medical generalist within our community health service.’

Dr Miles Mack, chairman of RCGP Scotland, welcomed the plans

‘General practice is a wonderfully rewarding and challenging career, right at the centre of Scottish healthcare and communities,’ he said. ‘We are delighted to see the expansion of GP specialty training numbers as it is through increasing the size of the GP workforce that we can meet the needs of patients across Scotland.’

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon first announced plans to increase the number of GP training posts from around 300 to 400 last year.

Earlier this year, Health Education England announced that GP trainees would be offered £20,000 incentive payments to take up posts in chronically understaffed areas, including Lincolnshire, Cumbria, West Lakes, Blackpool and the Isle of Wight.

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