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International recruitment scheme attracts 12 GPs to one area in six months

The international GP recruitment programme has brought 12 GPs to Northamptonshire in just six months since starting the scheme.

Since the programme was initiated in Nene in March, seven international GPs have been recruited to start their post in general practice ‘imminently’.

The CCG confirmed that a further three are to start in the area around November or December, and another two will begin work in February 2020. NHS Nene CCG also confirmed that all 12 GPs are from the EU.

The international recruitment scheme initially aimed to recruit 500 foreign doctors by 2020 when it was set up in April 2016. A year later, NHS England increased its goal to between 2,000 and 3,000 GPs.

However, only 120 overseas doctors had been recruited by June this year - 70 of which are in the country in placements or seeing patients in practices. 

According to recent board papers, GP numbers in the area are declining in line with national numbers so commissioners embarked upon the international GP recruitment scheme to address the decline and meet the target number of GP recruits laid out by NHS England.

The board papers said: ‘Much like the national picture, we are still seeing a declining trend for GP numbers. However, in Northamptonshire, we are approx. 4.9% below our 2015 baseline, whilst nationally the drop exceeds 6.6%. Our gap from meeting our NHSE target number for 2020 is currently at 36.6 FTE GPs.

‘We have therefore recently embarked on an international GP recruitment programme to address this.'

A spokesperson for NHS Nene CCG said: ‘The programme is going really well. Due to other areas also being involved in the scheme, the next round of recruitment in this area will start around February/March 2020.’

As of June 2019, the total number of FTE GPs excluding registrars and international GP recruits in the area was 347.35 GPs.

The CCG spokesperson said the international GPs will be added to the figure when they start in the post.

Recruitment agencies have previously told Pulse that Brexit is the 'one thing' slowing down international recruitment.

Elsewhere, a watchdog in Scotland said that GP recruitment in the country, especially remote areas, is a 'significant' challenge.

This comes as the RCGP's incoming chair, Professor Martin Marshall said general practice needs to be 'talked up' more in order to make the profession more attractive.

Readers' comments (10)

  • be interesting to see how long they stay and are able to tolerate working in 'the envy of the world'

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  • So which country has GPs to spare, is it right that we go to emerging countries and adopt their talent? Good for Nene, Good for the world???

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  • Don't worry Brexit will bring back the glorious days of the Empire to all it's voters. We will all need foreign GPs shipped in to personally serve the mighty English again.

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  • so they are happy to steal other countries doctors but not look after their own who are leaving early. lunacy at its best.

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  • And five years down the line they would be truk off by our regulatory body. Well done. Destroy peoples lives with FALSE HOPES.

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  • Unethical to source doctors from abroad.
    Most will return home within 18 months as the terms and conditions of the role here are so bad.
    There is an obvious answer to this - better terms and conditions to keep UK GPs in the role without burning out, and to attract new GPs into the profession.
    Yet the government seem to come up with every ‘solution’ except that: AI, symptom sorters, social prescribing, noctors... none of which will work.
    Why is looking after GPs properly so unacceptable?

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  • I’m friends with one of the EU GPs that was brave enough to start working here. A year in and he’s already depressed. He just signed up with the local OOHs provider so he could drop his sessions. Complaints from patients are coming thick and fast due to cultural clashes, his colleagues dump all the crap they can on him pay him peanuts. Lovely job that is.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    Northampton eh? I wonder if they've heard it's the place to buy boots? Or was, like 60 years ago when we still made stuff other than just whingeing massively obese people who want their "rights".

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  • After a few months of unpleasant encounters with the local natives the poor sods will be running back to where they came from. Currency depreciation meaning that their salary in pounds won’t be worth the paper it’s written on won’t help matters either

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  • Toxic UK. I wonder when the GMC will strike them off and they will not even be able to work in their own countries. Hogwash--They are depressed now? Wait till winter comes.

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