Welsh GP recruitment campaign to run for third consecutive year

The Welsh government's 'Train, Work, Live' campaign, which aims to encourage GPs and other doctors to take up hard-to-fill posts in Wales, is set to run for a third consecutive year.

Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething (Photo: National Assembly For Wales/Cynulliad Cymru)
Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething (Photo: National Assembly For Wales/Cynulliad Cymru)

Since its launch in 2017, the campaign - which includes two financial incentive schemes - has resulted in a ‘significant increase in the number of GP training posts filled’, most notably in hard-to-recruit rural areas.

The campaign’s ‘targeted’ scheme offers trainee GPs a £20,000 incentive to take up posts in areas displaying a trend of low-fill rates, such as Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, while the ‘universal’ scheme provides a one-off payment to GP trainees to cover the cost of sitting of their final examinations.

Both incentive schemes will continue to be available in 2019.

GP recruitment

More than nine out of ten (91%) GP training posts were filled in Wales in 2017 following the launch of the Train, Work, Live campaign - up from 75% in 2016.

Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething said: ‘Train, Work, Live is one of our flagship marketing campaigns and I’ve been delighted with what it has achieved so far.

‘I am keen we continue to build on its success to ensure Wales has the medical workforce needed not only now, but in the future as well.’

Junior doctors opting to work in Wales could also benefit from the country’s ‘education contract’, which guarantees ring-fenced time for learning within the working week.

'Essential'

Dr Peter Saul, joint chair of RCGP Wales, said: 'A stronger GP workforce is essential in meeting patients’ current and future health needs. Wales has an ageing population, with an increase in people with multiple and complex conditions. The NHS needs to deliver more care closer to patients’ homes.

'General practice continues to face significant recruitment challenges that are affecting the ability of GPs to deliver high quality patient care. Filling training places is obviously encouraging but there is also a need to increase the number of GP training places. Wales has 136 GP training places; if it had the same ratio of GP training places to patients as the rest of the UK, it would have 184.

'Recruiting and retaining GPs is vital to meeting patient needs. We are supportive of Train, Work, Live and we welcome these further efforts to address the workforce shortages general practice is facing.'

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