Up to 12 additional trainee GPs are to be appointed in Norfolk and Waveney as part of a national scheme designed to fill family doctor vacancies in hard-to-recruit areas.
The “targeted enhanced recruitment scheme”, run by NHS England and Health Education England, will offer trainees a £20,000 bonus – paid by NHS England – in return for a commitment to work in the area for three years.
The latest round of the scheme will see up to six GP trainees supported in Great Yarmouth and a further six in King’s Lynn.
Melanie Craig, interim executive lead of the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, said: “This scheme is great news for Norfolk and Waveney, and will make a real difference to patients in the areas where GP recruitment has been a particular challenge.
“It will complement initiatives which are already in place to improve access to healthcare locally, which include employing professionals such as advanced nurse practitioners and clinical pharmacists to work in our surgeries. By increasing the range of support which is available, we can take some of the pressure off our GPs while also making sure patients see the most appropriate person to meet their needs.”
The scheme is one of a series of measures that NHS England is taking to improve access to general practice services. More than 500 trainee GPs have been recruited to work in areas of the country where vacancies for family doctors are hardest to fill since it launched in 2016/17.
Dr David Levy, medical director for NHS England (Midlands and East), said: “Although overall recruitment of GPs is increasing, in some parts of our region a significant proportion of GP training places have been unfilled.
“This scheme helps relieve pressure on general practices facing the most severe recruitment challenges, thereby supporting and improving services in these areas over time.
“Improving access to general practice services is a key priority for the NHS Long Term Plan and is even more vital in areas that have historically found it difficult to attract GPs.”
As well as recruiting more GPs, the NHS Long Term Plan will continue to grow the number of highly trained health professionals working with GPs in multidisciplinary teams.
For more information about the scheme: https://gprecruitment.hee.nhs.uk/Recruitment/TERS/England
NHS England remains committed to recruiting new GPs as well as retaining current staff, and there are more GPs in training than there ever have been. The GP Retention Scheme is a package of financial and educational support to help doctors, who might otherwise leave the profession, remain in clinical general practice and the £10m Local Retention Fund aims to help local systems set up arrangements to support GPs and encourage them to remain in practice.
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NHS England leads the National Health Service in England, setting the priorities and direction, encouraging and informing the national debate to improve health and care.
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