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National GP returners scheme to be rolled out as NHS England kicks off workforce strategy

Exclusive The first initiative from NHS England’s £10m strategy to solve GP recruitment crisis will be a national ‘induction and refresher’ scheme for GPs returning to UK general practice, Pulse can reveal.

Speaking at the Commissioning Live conference in London today, GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the scheme would be a ‘huge improvement’ on the current process, which varies across the country, and would reduce the bureaucracy of returning to practice in England from having worked abroad or left the profession.

NHS England announced in January that it was earmarking £10m for a ‘new deal’ for general practice, to tackle the GP workforce crisis developed in collaboration with GP representatives.

The ten-point plan included incentivising older GPs to stay on working, offering financial incentives to new GPs for working in under-doctored areas and a marketing campaign to medical students.

It also included a scheme to make it easier for GPs to return to the profession, and Dr Nagpaul said that this will be the first initiative to be detailed, in an announcement next week.

As it currently stands, there is huge variation across the country in the process that must be undertaken by GPs wishing to return to the performers’ list, involving the local education and training board and the NHS England area team.

Dr Nagpaul said: ‘I am pleased to say that we are on the verge of launching the first initiative which is around a national induction and refresher scheme, which is to enable doctors, who are GPs but they have left the country or they have stopped working, to come back without the bureaucracy they currently face.

‘For a GP who has worked in Australia for three years, at the moment it is a huge, huge task to come back to work in England. It is key to allow a fast track, and a less bureaucratic approach.’

Asked to explain more about the scheme, GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey declined to give further details but said the plans ‘are virtually finalised’.

He said: ‘It follows significant pressure from ourselves to actually get this in place and I think it is a big improvement from where we have been in recent years. It is welcome news and we hope it can be released as soon as possible so that returning GPs can start to use the scheme.’

Readers' comments (16)

  • They're still hiding from addressing the real issues why GPs emigrated in the first place!!

    Keep ducking the real issues and watch more and more doctors already there leave!!

    The cats out of the bag, if you want freedom and the ability to operate with autonomy emigration is attractive.

    I wonder really how many doctors this damp squib policy will actually recruit

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  • Remind me again why I would give up a cushy lifestyle, good weather and a £160k salary to come and work as a salaried wageslave for Clare "we must care" G???

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  • Join Facebook group " British General practice has become a cesspit"

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  • why do we pay bankers so much?

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  • How much will this scheme cover for those leaving uk??

    Anyone have any idea as to the numbers of returners there are from overseas?

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  • Return to what?
    In my case it would be enough to give my Practice payments per patient at par with average in England and I would happily stay.
    Recent published figures show payments made at £132/pt, Marlowe Park received £ 91.60/per patient while average in Medway was around 120/patient.
    Money does not buy morale and nobody is going to sell his soul to Mephistopheles for a lolly.

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  • This "scheme" will be another effective "street con" style event-whereby nothing of substance is actually offered in return to signing your life away. It will probably include things like "admin support reimbursement to update your CV upto and including the sum of £10, or 35p/mile reimbursement costs to "returner interview" or other somesuch utter shit.

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  • City workers median pay is £52k. When comparing yourself with bankers there is no point in just using a tiny sample

    Australia and New Zealand will become less attractive as there economies have turned. They have just had a 15 year expansion driven by the commodities boom. This is over and government spending cuts are starting. worth thinking about

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  • @8:54 absolutely agree and if you've been watching the BBC Business roundup, you have that forboding Oz may become unattractive. I'll still lay a wager you have to have a Tory government and an exceptionally ruthless NHSE to be able to destroy a great system like the NHS in so short a time. Oz will start feeling the pains in a couple of years at the earliest and by then, hopefully we will have a pay ver visit system like the Aussies and it will be convenient to return.
    So, if you are fed up, don't think twice,,,just pack your bags and go...you can always come back !

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  • 8.54am-you really need to understand what "median pay means"....this nonsensical term includes all "city workers" ie bin men, secretaries, cleaners, maintenance men....it is the same as averaging out GP pay with receptionist pay.....it is a way of cunningly misleading the public that GPs are the real "fat cats" and bankers salaries are on a par with senior teachers......

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