CCG 'career start' scheme employs salaried GPs to ease workforce crisis

A CCG will hire and pay for 10 salaried GPs for two years in a scheme to tackle local workforce problems.

Dr Stewart Findlay: career scheme hopes to attract salaried GPs (Photo: Gary Simpson)
Dr Stewart Findlay: career scheme hopes to attract salaried GPs (Photo: Gary Simpson)

Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG, in tandem with Health Education North East, will fund the salaried posts to encourage GPs from across the UK to work in the area.

Each of the salaried GPs hired will work at individual practices in the area. The CCG said it hopes that after the two years of funding the GPs will be ready to move into partnership.

GPs employed by the ‘career start’ programme will also receive mentoring on their clinical and personal development.

GP recruitment crisis

Local GP leaders have previously warned of a looming crisis in the area because of the shortage of new GPs and the rate of early retirements.

In January NHS England announced £10m for a 10-point plan to resolve the workforce crisis, including funding for so-called 'golden hello' deals.

However, NHS England primary care commissioning lead Dr David Geddes admitted earlier this year that golden hello schemes 'don't really work'.

Last week CCG leaders in Leicester admitted a similar programme had failed to attract GP recruits.

The £250,000 scheme, jointly run by the CCG, NHS England and the local authority, which offered £20,000 to new recruits resulted in just three out of 16 practices involved taking on a new GP.

Leicester City CCG chairman Dr Azhar Farooqi told a council meeting the scheme should not be dropped because of the post-election move towards seven-day working, the Leicester Mercury reported.

GP golden hello

Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG chief clinical officer  Dr Stewart Findlay said: ‘It is important that we continue to attract highly qualified GPs to our region. We live in a beautiful part of the country and we need to use this as a marketing tool to attract the best candidates possible to our area. 

He added: ‘The GP ‘career start’ scheme will help us to do that. We hope that after completing the first two years of these salaried posts (hosted by individual practices) that the candidates will be ready to take the next step to partnership in a practice in our area.

'High levels of GP retirement are anticipated in the next two to five years, so, planning ahead for us is vital. Our practices are keenly aware of this and want to ensure that these posts will allow candidates to flourish.’

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