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GP 'superpractice' in talks to attract graduates from China and India

One of the UK’s largest GP partnerships is making visits to China and India to attract young medical students to come and train as GPs in their super practice, in a bid to increase its list size to 300,000 patients. 

Lakeside Healthcare in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire currently covers 120,000 patients across its four site ‘super-practice’, and its CEO revealed last week plans to more than double their size next year.

Speaking at a Westminster Health Forum event on Thursday, chief executive Professor Robert Harris said he would be taking a ten day trip to China before Christmas to attract new talent.

By focussing on training, Lakeside aims to convert those who don’t want to pursue a career in general practice. 

He said: ‘We have 60 students at any given time going through our system. One of our four key pillars is to be a teaching and training practice of some repute. I’m off to China on Saturday for 10 days talking to Chinese institutions and ministers about bringing Chinese students to come and train with us. We are doing the same with India.

’And we are doing this for three reasons. One, it is lifeblood for us. We get people who don’t particularly want to stick around in general practice…at the end of that we have around 40% staying on in general practice and most people want to stay and work with us.’

Professor Harris said their location in Lincolnshire offers excellent quality of life, but the county has struggled to attract GPs in recent years. However, the Lakeside business model ‘allows us to pay very well’.

He added: ‘We presently have around 120,000 patients and by the end of next year the plan is to get about 300,000, with deals that are in progress right now. We currently have about 60 partners of which 30 are specialists (GPSIs)’.

Pulse has previously revealed Lincolnshire GP leaders in talks with European recruiters about training and supporting already qualified GPs in Poland, Romania, and Spain to relocate to the area.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has since unveiled his ambition to make the NHS self-sufficient in UK trained doctors by the end of the next parliament, by increasing fees for international students and forcing NHS trained doctors to work for the NHS for four years.

Readers' comments (12)

  • Dear All,
    So super practices not as appealing to UK graduates as we first thought?
    Paul C

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  • Vinci Ho

    Professor, I think you should go to Hong Kong instead of China although there are only two medical schools in HK but at least they are teaching in English and internationally well known.

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  • Err, the fact that these extreme lengths are being gone to says everything about the desirablity of working as a gp in the NHS.
    Get real.
    Jeremy has made it so unpopular and impossible to survive, why should foreign doctors want to surrender their lives to that fate?

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  • Nice try, but not so fast!

    There have been graduates coming from India (and other south asian countries for that matter) for decades...since the early 1960's I believe and it is well known that the then health secretary was ironically Enoch Powell who invited them! Many thousands from the Indian subcontinent arrived to help plug a skills shortage that it seems over half a century later is still with us!

    What else that still appears to be with us is the blatant discrimination that these doctors faced then, and still do today, that in my opinion makes them almost "second class". Today in the UK in 2016, if you are a BME UK born and trained medical graduate you are almost 3 times more likely than a white UK born and trained medical graduate to fail your CSA examination which allows your entry into a career in general practice (along with of course other assessments that make up the new MRCGP examination).

    Now the failure rate climbs exponentially if you are a foreign born and trained doctor as has been demonstrated by the independent research carried out by Prof. repercussions Esmail on the orders of the GMC only a few short years ago. If this wasn't shameful enough the fact that the RCGP tried to whitewash these findings and actually got into a public spat with Prof. Esmail about his findings and their interpretation beggars belief. Of course we all know that this shambolic affair and poor public relations handling led to the now infamous case bought by the BAPIO.

    Another sordid conundrum as yet unresolved is the fact that BME doctors, both UK born and trained and born abroad are far more likely to face censure and by the GMC and be struck off in the infamous fitness to practice (FTP) hearings. This has also been known for decades and yet, in 2016 we still have no actual reason as to why!! The fitness to practice panel has recently been receiving far more press, especially since we now know, that literally hundreds of doctors have died whilst under investigation by the GMC.

    When homegrown, born, bred and /or UK trained doctors are shunning the profession, retiring early, emigrating or choosing to spend their careers locuming one must ask the question, based on the above, why the hell would foreign trained doctors want to waste their talent, skills and lives propping up a system that clearly discriminates against them??.......they could just as easily sit international exams like the USMLE's and opt for a career in a country where the exams eliminate bias and reward talent. They can work in a system where they are not rail roaded into trust grade, staff grade, associate specialist and other substandard roles so that they can practice with honour and dignity.

    If i were an international graduate and offered this opportunity I might be inclined to smile and say no thank you!!!!!

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  • 8.26... what can I say! I agree from the bottom of my empty ST3 heart! The RCGP create a exam so biased against forgin graduate and then everyone wonders why none are coming! Don't come people, live your life. General practice is not fit for human habitation.

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  • This is the biggest joke I have seen for centuries. I am not sure about India but I can guaranteed you there will be zero interest from China.
    I was an NHS GP for 25 years and currently works in Hong Kong. People in the Far East are very financial driven. What makes he thinks that UK General Practice is attractive to Chinese Medical Graduates? They can easily earn 10x more than UK without your CSA!

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  • Vinci Ho

    As the lengendary Hong Kong pop singer ,Sam Hui(grew up with his songs) , sang in one of his famous songs 'Money ,money ,money ' with the famous line:
    'No money , No talk ; No money , No talk '

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  • Everyone can be super! And when everyone's super... one will be

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  • Recent plab uptake and GP recruitment has been a shambles. No chance of anything happening.

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  • China and india.... globalisation continues....... race to the bottom pay wise for the masses..... increase the profits for the chosen few..... still think they'll struggle to recruit

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