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Spanish GP has more time to see patients

Salaried GP Dr Sandra Martín has noticed how much more time she has with patients than her practice's partners since arriving from Spain six months ago.

Dr Martín is one of seven Spanish GPs recruited to County Durham last year to ease the region's GP shortage.

'I am not a partner, so I see more patients rather than spend time doing paperwork,' she said.

Dr Martín, from the southern Spanish city of Seville where she worked as a locum, said the winter in the north-east was not as harsh as she had expected.

She said her experience so far at two practices in Esh Winning and Great Lumley has still not been long enough to fully master the Geordie accent.

She added: 'It seems to be a little bit easier, but I still have some problems.'

Elsewhere, Southend primary care trust has recruited 11 Spanish doctors and another seven have arrived to work for North Tees PCT.

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