Practice takes extreme measures to find salaried GP as recruitment crisis bites

A practice in Suffolk has been forced to advertise overseas and offer accommodation to attract a salaried GP in the face of the UK general practice recruitment crisis.

Dr John Havard: rethinking recruitment drive (Photo: Simon Barber)
Dr John Havard: rethinking recruitment drive (Photo: Simon Barber)

Dr John Havard, partner at 9,000-patient practice Saxmundham Health in Suffolk, told GP the practice had been forced to ‘think again’ after receiving a negligible response to an advert for the vacant post.

The practice created a new, light-hearted advert emphasising the benefits of working in a ‘progressive, flexible and happy’ practice, placing it in journals not just in the UK, but also in Australia.

Doctors leaving for Australasia

‘Although the vast bulk of doctor traffic is going out to Australasia there may be some GPs who might move the other way especially if there are UK family ties,’ Dr Havard said.

‘We could find no evidence of adverts in Antipodean journals for UK GP jobs so thought it could be worth a try. Although the market seems very small it seems we could be the only player.’

To offer an additional incentive to overseas GP applicants, the Suffolk practice has offered accommodation in the form of a comfortable ‘Granny annexe’.

Dr Havard says ‘flexibility is key’ in careers, and that Suffolk offers GPs opportunities to work in community hospitals and a ‘progressive and award-winning CCG’.

As yet the practice has not had any response, but Dr Havard says he remains hopeful that the practice’s ‘special measures’ will bear fruit.

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