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The waiting game

'Golden hello' scheme attracts four new GPs

GP practices struggling to recruit have successfully used a £10k per year ‘golden hello’ to attract four new GPs to their area.

The £250k scheme across 17 practices in Leicester has seen vacancies open for two years filled by new GPs after they were offered a financial incentive.

Under the scheme, run by the local authority with money from NHS Midlands and East, GPs are paid £10k per full time-equivalent year for two years, £20k in total, provided they do not leave the job.

NHS Leicester City CCG told Pulse that the money was allocated after they lobbied for help with severe recruitment problems in the city, where half of all GP partners are over the age of 50.

Dr Paul Danaher, a partner at the Groby Road Practice in Leicester, said they have been trying, unsuccessfully, to replace a retired senior partner for two years.

He said: ‘It is very difficult to recruit in Leicester. We are significantly down on the number of trainees in the city and there are very few people coming to Leicester. A lot of people leaving or going overseas and plenty retiring, because the workload is unsustainable. We are routinely working 12 and 13-hour days and sometimes you may get a cup of tea in that time and sometimes not.

‘We’ve gone through two lots of interviews without success. On the first occasion we recruited but then they pulled out. We have now been successful in recruiting a part-time GP because of the joint effort between the CCG and the council.’

However he added: ‘It is not a long term solution. That is going to have to come down to [actions from] the central Government, because we have a gap between what is available and what is expected.’

An NHS Leicester City CCG spokesperson said: ‘Recruiting new GPs to the city will mean better access to GP services for patients and a positive step in the right direction to better meeting the health needs of the local population. We are working closely with NHS England to support these 17 successful practices through the recruitment process.’

Stories of golden hello schemes propped up across England last year including a £10,000 scheme in Essex funded by Health Education England and self-funding GP practice incentives such as a £20,000 scheme in Doncaster.

NHS England’s 10-point plan to solve the GP workforce crisis included golden handshakes for new GPs and those returning to practise, however recently the body’s own head of primary care commissioning Dr David Geddes said these schemes ‘don’t work’.

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Readers' comments (16)

  • Hold your partner left Leicester last week for overseas and another partner and his wife (both GP's) are due to leave in June!!!!

    oh and did I forget to mention? my self (former leics partner) and my wife (leics salaried) emigrated last year!!!

    i'd keep the champagne on ice for now!!

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  • new GPs or displaced GPs?

    presumably they would have applied for and got a job elsewhere?

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  • NHSE and Leicestershire CCG pay 10K for GP partner as incentive (one off I believe)

    RAF offering 50K for GP's to work with 5 yr commitment

    Australia offering 250k for GP's to work in rural areas with 5 year commitment;

    Pretty much sums it up really.

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  • There are practices in Leicester run on Locums entirely.
    There are partners there earning less than salaried GPs and definitely less than some Locums who've started charging over £100 per hour + pension ! ( they are not even the good ones who do all the work required with a smile )

    There are portfolio GPs working in Walk-in centres, urgent care centre, OOH earning a self-respecting income (well still less per hour than calling out a plumber on a Sunday)

    Other smart GPs have branched out into military healthcare work, prisons and private practice or emigrated.
    Others have aboarded the CCG to be on the high deck to see the iceberg early. They won't be able to do anything! The smarter GPs still aren't even on the Ship anymore.....

    The muppets? Those are the GPs still partners or those over 55 who've not retired early yet.

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  • General practice in the uk mimics the rest of the economy over there "McJobs"- ie. low paid wage slavery. Look at the so called economic miracle that's emerged in the past parliament!!

    To any young newbie GP/ trainee or medical student get your qualifications and get the hell out of that dump! They will steal your enthusiasm, your future, your life and soul. Doctors used to have self respect, now they are a spineless bunch of whipping boys. Monkeys. Educated morons that wouldn't say boo to a goose. I'm ashamed that I was one of them. A career in general practice is for cannon fodder.

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  • £10k for 1 year lock in or 11 x 12 hr locum shifts ?

    i would do the locums myself.

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