Drive to recruit GP trainees

100 new training posts advertised

A recruitment drive has been launched to encourage more junior doctors to consider the opportunities that a career in general practice provides.

It coincides with the opening of applications for 100 new GP training places in Scotland, which are being advertised from today.

A proportion of these 100 places will come with a £20,000 incentive for trainees who choose to take up posts in hard to fill locations, such as remote and rural areas.

The Scottish Government and NHS Education Scotland drive aims to highlight the benefits of living and working as a GP in Scotland. A series of adverts and a social media campaign will run to raise awareness of the opportunities that medical training in Scotland provides.

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

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “General practice is the heart of our NHS, and is becoming ever more important as we build the community health service of the future.

“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.

“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 multi-disciplinary teams and refocusing the role of the GP as the expert medical generalist within our community health service.

“We’ve also abolished the bureaucratic system of GP payments, QOF, and are working on a new Scottish GP contract to support our wider efforts to make primary care services fit for the future.”

Scotland’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Gregor Smith, who previously practiced as a GP, said: “Working in general practice can give you a wide and varied career – one in which every day is different and you never know what will come through the door next.

“There are some fantastic opportunities for training available in Scotland – whether that is working in inner city communities or with remote and rural populations, all within a flexible and supportive training environment.

“General practice, particularly, is unique in being able to build that special relationship with patients which can potentially span decades and generations. It’s flexibility can allow you to pursue both professional and personal interests further.

“It is a fantastic career and one which I would highly recommend to junior doctors.”

The application window opens today, 9 August, and closes on 25 August. They are being advertised by NHS Education Scotland on behalf of Scottish health boards.

Professor Stewart Irvine, NHS Education for Scotland Medical Director said: “Scotland has long had a tradition of medical excellence. The GMC trainee survey consistently ranks Scotland’s GP Training Programme amongst the UK’s very best. Our supportive and flexible training approach offers trainees exceptional scope for personal development with Out of Programme experiences and Post-training Fellowships.

"We have dedicated GP Educational Supervisors across a breadth of different practices, offer specific exam support courses and have high exam success rates. And Scotland has something to suit all trainees in terms of geography and work-life balance, from the city to the country."

Speaking from his practice in Dingwall, Dr Miles Mack, Chair of RCGP Scotland, said: “General practice is a wonderfully rewarding and challenging career, right at the centre of Scottish healthcare and communities.

“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.”

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