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Gold, incentives and meh

CCGs in talks over recruiting Australian GPs with £18k relocation package

CCGs are in talks about bringing over GPs from Australia with a relocation package worth £18,500 under NHS England’s international GP recruitment programme.

NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG has said in board papers that they are in planned talks to become the 'first pilot' to recruit GPs from non-EU countries through NHS England's newly refocused international recruitment plan.

However, NHS England has said the recruits from Australia have chosen to work in a variety of locations.

The GPs moving back to the UK from Australia are set to recieve a relocation package worth £18,500 to cover receipted relocation expenses only.

However, in addition to the relocation package, NHS England has also said it would cover the cost of tier 2 visas for the GP and their family.

NHS England announced last week that it would be focusing on recruiting international GPs from Australia after the RCGP and GMC finalised plans to shorten the application process. 

NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG board papers from last month state that the CCG has scheduled early talks to discuss being the ‘first pilot site to expand to non EU’ GPs.

However, NHS England told Pulse that a small number of GPs working in Australia are in the early stages of recruitment but are looking to work in a variety of locations.

NHS England was not able to confirm how many Australian GPs have been recruited so far or where they intend to go.

However, it added that the recruitment scheme will target GPs who left the UK for Australia, as well as Australian GPs who want to move to the UK.

All GPs working in Australia – regardless of where they were trained – are able to access the relocation package benefits.

For GPs from outside the EU, NHS England has committed to funding tier 2 visas for the GP and their family, which can cost up to £610 per person.

While no specific amount of money has been set aside to fund the recruitment and no target set for the number of GPs to be brought over from Australia, the recruitment drive will contribute to the 2,000 international GP recruitment target set last year, which was set a £100m budget.

In addition to the relocation package, the GPs will also be supported with £3,500 monthly bursaries, a payment covering the cost of GMC and DBS fees and support finding a practice to sponsor a tier 2 visa. 

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, BMA GP committee executive team workforce lead, welcomed the focus on recruiting Austrialian GPs, adding: 'There are of course costs associated with relocating and taking up a role – including training, regulation and induction – so it’s only right that these are covered if we are to encourage more GPs to come and work here, not just from Australia but elsewhere across the globe...

'It is hoped that overseas GPs will come to work in the UK to help deal with workforce shortages, however, more must be done to address the intense workload pressures and funding constraints to attract new doctors to the profession and keep those GPs with the most experience in practice.'

International GP recruitment

NHS England first announced that they would be recruiting 500 GPs from overseas in the GP Forward View in April 2016, with Lincolnshire first implementing the programme to address a local recruitment crisis.

However, last year NHS England expanded the scheme to recruit anywhere between 2,000 and 3,000 GPs from overseas by 2020 – about two thirds of the Government’s target to add an extra 5,000 GPs to the workforce by 2020.

But in May this year NHS England admitted that just 85 GPs from overseas were in post nearly two years after the scheme's launch.

The Government has since shifted focus to recruiting GPs from Australia, after the RCGP and GMC finalised plans to shorten the application process.

International GPs recruited on to the programme are put on to induction and refresher scheme, which finishes with placements in practices of up to six months.

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Readers' comments (29)

  • Any Australian GP who comes here for work needs to have their head examined!

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  • AlanAlmond

    Why not spend the money on UK Drs? I live within stricking distance of this CCG. I'm a pissed off GP who might be tempted back by £18,000. They should be under no illusions, any fresh faced Australian silly enough to come work in the the NHS will become a pissed off GP too soon enough - and thats just because of the weather.

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  • Pathetic. How much of the 18K will go on stamp duty then they try to buy a house here? And doctors are paid peanuts in the UK compared to down under. Not a chance.

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  • Dear oh dear. Wrong again unfortunately. How about attractive pay and conditions for recruitment and retention of UK doctors?.....yeah, thought so, too obvious

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  • "....keep those GPs with the most experience in practice.'" Nice thought butI don't see how phasing out the seniority allowance is going to help!!

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  • This is pointless since no GP would relocate specifically because of the £18k offer - it's probably 2-3 months worth of the income difference.

    Instead this will be taken up by GPs who were returning to the UK anyway (e.g. for family reasons) as a nice little windfall.

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  • Hahahahahahahaha.

    GP in Oz is still a job people want to do. Who in their right mind would choose to work for the NHS if they had a choice?

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  • I am going the other way next year!

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  • If only they spend the 100 million on the GPs they already have. But never, we have pharmacists, Physician assistants, Nurse prescribers etc, ut not a penny to the GPs.
    The maths shows a 50% fall in take home income per consultation in 12 years. We need a new Contract. The GPC had a mandate to ballot, they did not. If GP land fails, it the leadership, the generals who are at fault.

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  • Lions lead by donkeys,sacrificed in the front line trenches, where have all the flowers gone gone to Aussie everyone,when will they ever learn,when wil they ever learn,as the old song goes.

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