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Independents' Day

Overseas recruits lack help to settle

GPs recruited from overseas to fill vacancies in areas with a chronic shortage of doctors are not getting adequate support to help them settle, research concludes.

A study for the RCGP's Northern deanery into the recruitment of seven Spanish GPs to County Durham found the practices that most needed the GPs were least able to give them the support required.

Author Rich Bregazzi, an educational adviser at the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and Dentistry in Newcastle, said the GPs had 'signif-

icant personal support and

professional development needs'.

Of the seven Spanish GPs recruited in August 2002, two have left for personal reasons. A further five are due to start work in the county next March.

Dr José Garcìa Miralles, an international recruitment adviser to the Department of Health and a GP in Pelton, County Durham, said: 'There is a potential mismatch between the pressure PCTs are under to fill vacancies in the most needy places and on the other hand what is a relaxing and supportive practice to commence employment in the UK.'

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