NHS England has announced a new wave of funding to recruit talented doctors from overseas for GP practices in Mansfield, Ashfield and Newark.
As part of NHS England’s International GP Recruitment Programme, more than £2 million has been committed to recruit additional GPs for GP practices in the regional areas.
While GP training places are increasing year on year and many GPs are returning to practice, more of them are retiring and the number of GPs is not increasing fast enough.
NHS England will commission recruitment providers to identify potential overseas doctors and will support them through the recruitment process. A national recruitment centre will be set up to work with the recruitment providers and with local commissioners to coordinate the programme. Recruited GPs will then be allocated to GP practices.
Before any of the doctors start, they will need to pass stringent tests, including an industry-standard English language test.
The main focus for recruitment will initially be on countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) where doctors receive automatic recognition to join the General Medical Council’s GP Register. NHS England will also look to attract UK-trained doctors back to the UK. The process of recruiting the new GPs should take three years.
Dr Anne-Marie Houlder, Acting Medical Director, NHS England (North Midlands), said: “Most new GPs will continue to be trained in this country, and general practice will benefit from the 25% increase in medical school places over the coming years. But the NHS has a proud history of ethically employing international medical professionals, with one in five GPs currently coming from overseas. This scheme will deliver new recruits to help improve services for our patients and reduce some of the pressure on hard working GPs in the area.”
David Ainsworth, Director of Primary Care for Mansfield & Ashfield and Newark and Sherwood CCGs, said: “Like many other parts of the country, there is a shortage of GPs in mid-Nottinghamshire. While the evidence shows patients are generally very satisfied with the service they receive from their local GP practice, we know the wait for a routine appointment can sometimes be a source of frustration. The International GP Recruitment Programme should go some way towards easing the current pressures in local health provision and is to be welcomed.”