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EU GPs to be paid £80k but pay NHS back if they quit, contract reveals

GPs hired as part of NHS England’s flagship international recruitment scheme will be paid up to £80,000 per year, according to a national contract.

The contract says that the overseas recruits will have to pay back NHS England up to £9,000 if they decide to leave the three-year programme early.

NHS England has said this annual salary is in line with the average annual income for salaried GPs.

However this is £10,000 less than GPs recruited to the pilot site in Lincolnshire. They were promised a £90k salary once they completed the induction and refresher scheme.

The ‘learning agreement’ to be signed by NHS England, the international GP and their clinical advisor, outlines the terms and conditions of the national recruitment programme, including salary ranges for the new recruits.

According to the agreement, once the GP has completed the induction and refresher scheme, they can expect to be earning up to £80,000 per year or up to £72,000 if they’re working outside of London. 

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

While undertaking the induction and refresher scheme, the GPs will be paid £3,500 per month, ‘until the participant has gained entry to the National Medical Performers list’.

Once on the list, the contract says practices ‘should offer terms and conditions that are no less favourable than the model salaried GP contract’.

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, workforce lead for the BMA’s GP Committee, said: ‘General practice is in the midst of a recruitment and retention crisis, and so we welcome moves to hire experienced and talented doctors from overseas to support the NHS workforce.

‘The BMA has been watching closely as key stakeholders work hard to roll out this initiative, and we support the decision to offer international GPs the model salaried contract, by which they should expect terms no less favourable than any other salaried GP working in England.’ 

However, if the newly recruited GP decides to quit the three-year programme during or after the induction and refresher scheme, they could have to repay up to £9,000 to NHS England. 

This figure decreases the longer the GP stays in the programme, with GPs that leave the programme but stay practicing in the UK also having to repay less.

The contract says: 'If upon completion of the induction and refresher scheme the participant does not remain with the identified employing organisation for the remainder of the three-year programme, the candidate agrees to repayment of a proportion of their International GP training salary provided during the preparatory phase and induction and refresher scheme period, to a maximum of £9,000 and subject always to the participant receiving at least the applicable National Minimum Wage ('NMW') for the work the participant has carried out to that point.' 

The news comes as GPs continue to leave the profession in droves, with the latest figures revealing the 1,000 GPs have left since 2015.

It also comes as according to the lastest figures just 85 GPs from overseas are in post nearly two years after the launch of the EU GP recruitment scheme.

An NHS England spokesperson said: 'We have worked with partners, including the BMA, to make sure that doctors recruited from overseas have terms and conditions, including pay, which are consistent with GPs who have trained and qualified here.'

Readers' comments (17)

  • Took Early Retirement

    "UP TO 80k"? That will have them all running- back to Europe.

    Look, my niece's husband drives delivery lorries for Ford- you know the sort of thing, an articulated lorry with about 7 cars on it. As well has having regulated hours, a generous allowance if he has to spend a night away from home, he gets c £100,000 per year with some weekend work.

    Why be a GP? Get an HGV license.

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  • Council of Despair

    the 'rewards' relative to the toxic environment are simply not worth it.

    by toxic I mean litigious, high risk, high demand, workload dump, the xenophobic population that blame immigrants for everything, lack of support by 'leaders', rampant self-interest ... and more

    there are so many better options;

    https://content.wisestep.com/highest-paying-countries-doctors/

    or even change career - many careers offer 80k or more.

    you have to be truly desperate to come and work as a GP in the UK.

    the worse part is that the recruiters are going to be nice to you until you sign up then the real pressure will start - you will only be too happy to return the 9k to exit.

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  • Makes me laugh looking at the figures. Why would anyone want to come when your professional freedom is gone. You face complaints and jail. Go to Australia where the food, people and weather are all better, the pay is also better. Our Brexit racism will make sure you have a hard time or at the very least an uncertain time. Buy a house and the price might drop. I would go if I am younger.

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  • Very few people are going to want to be managing risk in the current clinical environment for UP TO 72K outside of London.

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  • Internationally quite a pi** poor offer.The free market conservative need to think again if they are going to attract folks to the UK.A very sub par offer.

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  • £72K outside of London is pretty poor. This won't attract anyone. And they get hit with a big stick of they decided the job is crap and go home.

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  • People come too the UK to work in the 'city' or be a well paid tradesman, not to be a fucked-over, poorly paid professionals. So what we need is highly trained persons who are committed and are cheap.

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  • That's more than I get paid for 8 sessions as a salaried GP.

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  • Upto,,,funny this NHSE is. In Medway, if you are a EU GP Principal, the Carr Hill is only applied partially and does not take into account deprivation and distance from Surgery. NHSE says, they don't understand and put forward an explanation that NHS Digital has confirmed your payments are right. NHS Digital questioned about this under FOI request says they don't hold this information. Now, lying to a FOI request is a criminal offence but who is going to bell the cat if corruption is the second name of Medway and Kent Managers.

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  • I get less than that for 8 sessions as a salaried GP

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