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GPs go forth

GP trainees to get £2,000 for final exam followed by £20k 'golden hello'

GP trainees in Wales are set to have the fees for their final exam covered, with those in areas suffering recruitment difficulties also receiving a £20,000 golden hello dependent on them staying in Wales for their first year of practise.

The incentives, which include a £2,000 final exam bursary, will come into force from August next year, the Welsh Government has announced.

The Wales Deanery, alongside the Welsh Government, Welsh health boards and trusts have also announced a new education contract for Welsh junior doctors. This contract is the first of its kind in the UK and guarantees learning time within the working week for trainee doctors.

This is part of a wider campaign, launched by First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, to encourage medical students and trainees to live and work in Wales - including attracting doctors from elsewhere in the UK.

GPC Wales chair Dr Charlotte Jones said they 'support' the scheme to solve the current recruitment and retention problems, 'particularly the incentive-based schemes which we’ve been calling for, for a number of years'.

‘The education contract that provides protected time for training is also a welcome step forward in making the Wales offer more attractive for junior doctors,' she added.

But she warned that the campaign 'isn't a standalone solution' to the Welsh GP recruitment crisis.

She said: ‘There are areas identified in our urgent prescription for general practice solution paper which we have recently put to Welsh Government that must be addressed in order to turn general practice around and provide a solid offer for GPs who may be starting out in, or returning to, the profession.’

The scheme comes as a recent GPC Wales survey found that eight in ten Welsh GPs are concerned about the viability of their practice, often due to recruitment problems, and more than a quarter of GPs said they were considering a career change due to unsustainable workload pressure.

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said he wants 'doctors across the whole of the UK and beyond to know that Wales is a fantastic place to train, work and live', with the launch of this campaign going 'a long way in getting that message heard loud and clear'. 

‘Every day, our primary care centres deliver a fantastic service to the people of Wales, but we know that there are very real challenges around the recruitment and retention of GPs. This is not unique to Wales, but an issue across the whole of the UK.

‘It’s important we act, and act fast to ensure that our health service is sustainable in the long term.'

He further highlighted that Wales 'came top of the four nations in the UK in terms of overall satisfaction with trainee GPs' in the GMC's latest trainee survey.

As previously reported by Pulse, Wales is targeting medical students from across the UK to come and work in Wales. The campaign will include RCGP 'champions' for general practice reaching out to medical students.

Golden hello schemes are already in operation in both England and Scotland, with new GPs in hard-to-recruit areas offered £20,000 each.

Readers' comments (4)

  • For those trainees out there. If it is such a great place to work why are there no GPs to start with and will some cash in your pocket rectify all the problems driving GPs away in their droves?

    If it is such a great career and job why are they needing to do this at all? Don't see many surgeons and hospital physicians needing bribes to do their jobs.

    If the above can be ignored why not go and work with the RCGP in your free time. There's never been a better time….

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  • In Northern Ireland there is massive GP crisis now, what incentives are there here to recruit young bright GP doctors? More of the same chronic underfunded primary care, demoralised doctors, massive workload, disdain and disrespect from stormont politicians to general practice.......and we are surprised that nobody wants to be a GP in NI just now, viva la revolution, 38 days until I tender my undated resignation at local bma roadshow

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  • Thought it was meant to be steel shackels and handcuffs!

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  • The above article is welcome but contains a significant inaccuracy. Trainees across the whole of Wales will have their first akt and csa exam fees paid. This will not just apply to the areas targeted for the 20k locality based payment.

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