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The waiting game

GPs from EU to be guaranteed £90k salary in recruitment drive

The NHS is offering GPs from the EU a guaranteed annual salary of £90,000 and a ‘generous relocation package’ to move to England to work, in a bid to solve the recruitment crisis in Lincolnshire practices, Pulse has learned.

Recruits to the scheme will receive a starting salary of £70,000 per annum which will increase to £90,000 for a 10-session week once they are up to speed and working independently.

As revealed by Pulse, the scheme was set up last year by the LMC and NHS England to pre-empt a potential Brexit vote and attract EU nationals to the area - which has one of the biggest shortfalls in GPs anywhere in England.

It is being used as a blueprint for recruitment in the rest of the country under NHS England's plans to hire 500 GPs from overseas

Dr Kieran Sharrock, medical director at Lincolnshire LMC, told Pulse that practices had agreed the salary structure for the scheme ‘based upon local average salaried GP salary’ and that the salary also ‘increases annually to encourage the GPs to stay in the scheme’.

The LMC and NHS England are currently advertising the jobs in the EU with the aim of appointing 25 GPs in total.

Dr Sharrock said the scheme has been ‘really successful’ and has appointed 13 GPs so far – from Poland, Croatia, Lithuania, Greece and Spain – with ‘more interviews in the next few weeks’.

The scheme involves:

  • 12 weeks of paid training at a campus in Poland – an induction programme with lessons in English language, culture and the NHS;
  • Ongoing training over three years at a practice in England. 
  • Assistance with GMC registration and entry on to the performers’ list;
  • 'Alternative routes’ to meeting requirements for English language competency and the induction and refresher programme.

The LMC and practices are paying for the recruitment and induction which Dr Sharrock said was also ‘partly funded’ by CCGs, NHS England and Health Education England.

The first round of recruits are due to start training next week, on 16 January, with a view to starting work in England from April, with the next wave due to start training '8-12 weeks later’.

Dr Sharrock said: ‘Recruitment has been very successful to date. We have met and interviewed a number of excellent candidates from across Europe, who are all enthusiastic about coming to work in Lincolnshire.

‘We have been able to offer 13 candidates positions in Lincolnshire practices, and they have all accepted, so will be starting work and ongoing training here in April.

‘The practices are delighted with the calibre of the candidates and are looking forward to working with them. We are planning our next round of interviews in mid-February, for the second round of training to start later in the year.’

NHS England plans to roll out the Lincolnshire scheme more widely to meet the Government's target of 500 GPs from overseas set out in the GP Forward View.

But it has said that GPs will only be recruited ‘on an ethical basis’, from countries where there are already plenty of GPs.

Note: This story was changed at 10am on 11 Jan. It originally stated that new recruits 'will receive a starting salary of £70,000 per annum which will increase to £90,000 after a 10-session week to ensure they are up to speed and working independently'. It should have read: 'Recruits to the scheme will receive a starting salary of £70,000 per annum which will increase to £90,000 for a 10-session week once they are up to speed and working independently'. Apologies for any confusion caused

How the Government is tempting overseas GPs

As first revealed by Pulse, the GP Forward View committed NHS England to recruiting up to 500 GPs from overseas in a bid to help achieve the Government's pledge to deliver 5,000 more GPs by 2020.

Lincolnshire LMC has spearheaded the drive to hire overseas GPs with its scheme targeting GPs from EU countries such as Poland, Romania and Spain - designed partly to get ahead of any changes in legislation on employing EU workers that might arise from Brexit.

The UK's subsequent decision to leave the EU cast some doubt over NHS England's plans with recruiters warning that the referendum result could put off potential applicants

The overseas recruitment drive is also at odds with the Government's plan for the NHS to become less reliant on foreign doctors and in the long-term 'self-sufficient' in producing medical staff.

However, NHS England has since confirmed that it is looking to expand on the Lincolnshire scheme and push on with the plans in the immediate term.

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Readers' comments (21)

  • So much for UK GP training, then. When the going gets tough, ditch it!

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  • I have long been advising my patients to learn and Eastern European language if they want to access the best in UK healthcare

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  • As an Eastern European graduate with 4 years degree in nursing, 6 years of MD, I had to sit IELTS, PLAB 1&2, 2 year Foundation Programme and 3.5 years of GP training with up to 80 hours per week donkey work to be able to work for 7.5k per session as a salaried GP.
    I hope my EU colleagues are reading this and appreciate what they're getting.

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  • Can I get the money please?

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  • dear 547
    let me say you are most welcome is a great career and I hope you will join us in a better future here;truth be told we need you and your experience adds very much to the knowledge pool of the profession.
    best wishes.

    but the failure of the uk government to manage the nhs is a national disgrace;we need hunt and stevens's RESIGNATIONS

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  • On a minor Brexit point I seem to remember swathes of Lincolnshire voted rampantly anti EU???

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  • 6.54 Excellent point!!! That is hilarious... Lincolnshire-have your cake and eat it too!!!

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  • Time to leave comrades...

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  • Average salary is 90k in Lincolnshire??

    This can't be true. We know from Pulse, GMS GP partners on average income is just over 100k but having to pay employer pension (i.e. less then 90k earning after employer pension).

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  • How does this compare with a job in Sunny Stockport where a typical job advert reads

    "Salary circa £68,000 FTE plus assistance with indemnity cover"

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  • This is a good move. UK desperately needs GPs who can do more clinical sessions a week than the usual 6 sessions or less which many GPs currently do. EU doctors working 10 sessions a week will fill in the workforce shortage which has been created by the lazy UK GPs

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  • The pay is very good for a doctor in training. With medical indemnity being paid, 90K is a very good salary indeed for anyone in training. No doubt may EU doctors could show interest in taking up GP training in the UK

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  • Hahahhhhhaaaa I wouldnt work in the intended shitholes for 900 000 let alone 90 000.

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  • Why is the LMC paying towards this ? What is the role of the LMC.?
    I have always thought it is the elected Govt.'s job to provide appropriate medical care and if Mr Hunt's policies have driven GPs away, well so be it.
    Why is the LMC involved in recruiting from EU countries and paying money which it must collect from its member GPs. So we GPs are paying for recruiting because Mr Hunt has made us all pay a penance. It is baffling

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  • The government only has a duty to promote healthcare not provide it.

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  • As an Eastern European, I was offered 65k plus a relocation pack of 20k and a proper induction programme in 2004 when NHS still had that charm. Today when we have shambles and a lot of us are planning to move to neighbouring EU countries, these chaps are offering 70k - a 5 k increase after 12 years !! Just for comparison, MPS membership has increased by almost 12 k in my case. My advice to EU GPs would be not to board a burning deck? BTW, why discriminate against UK GPs - should you not offer 90k salaried posts to everybody and just make it a all salaried system? Nooo, can't do that - who then is going to work 12 hours without holidays, do the paperwork, work without lunch breaks and do unlimited flushing for NHSE and our political gurus?

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  • Poor sods don't realise the money is so good because the job is so bad.Interesting concept that uk graduates not being insentivised so actively. I am certain local practices don't pay salaried gps 90k and do we really think these poor lambs will survive insanity for long enough to move up the pay scale working a 10 session week? There is a very good reason why home grown gps choose not to.
    what does alternative route to language skills mean. If they can't speak-a -de -English they are going to really struggle,unless of course the patients don't either !

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  • A pay rate of £90k for 10 sessions a week is £9000 per session per annum . This is the standard pay rate for salaried GPs in my area (with medical indemnity paid on top) but no one works 10 sessions because it would probably lead to an early grave.

    The rate looks attractive for full time but once in post no human being would be able to sustain 10 sessions a week considering that each session is about 6 hours long including visits and paperwork.

    This pay rate is nothing special. I just hope that the incoming doctors are made aware of the fine details.

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  • Agree that 10 sessions is unsustainable but 8 or 9 probably is without all the partnership crap. Not all Lincolnshire practices are in shitholes. Many really nice practices are recruiting, partly because no-one knows where Lincolnshire is. Come and do a locum here before you write us off. You might be surprised.

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  • What a joke ! So they are planning to get a bunch of doctors whose first language is not English to fill the void . They wont be required to pass PLAB or MRCGP. We already know what happened in the case of the german doctor who gave a patient a fatal dose of morphine . They should be trying to make the working conditions for UK Gp's better instead . Get rid of 10 minute appts , reduce indemnity fees , eliminate the bureaucratic steaming pile of crap that is revalidation etc and more UK GPs will stay here rather than taking a one way ticket to Aus/Canada/USA.. As an aside , I feel these EU doctors will regret their decision when they find out what a risk sink GP here is .welcome to criminal negligence /complaints galore / anally retentive appraisers /dumping from all sources that is Uk GP . Also good luck with the 10 sessions per week - you will be reduced to a burntout shell after a few weeks !

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