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Wales extends £20k golden hello scheme for GP trainees

The Welsh Government has announced it is extending its GP trainee golden hello scheme following a successful first year.

Medical school graduates who choose to train as a GP in parts of Wales with longstanding recruitment difficulties will again receive a £20,000 incentive this year.

This comes as Wales was able to achieve a 91% fill rate of GP training places after introducing the scheme last year, including 100% fill rates in certain areas.

Trainees accepting the incentive commit to serving at least one year as a GP in the area upon qualification.

The Welsh Government will also continue to pay a £2,000 bursary towards the GP specialty programme final exams, which also formed part of the 'Live. Train. Work' recruitment campaign launched in 2016.

Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething said: 'I’m proud of the impact this campaign has had so far. It has shown that Wales is not only an excellent place to live but it’s also a great place to train and work. I am sure it will continue to go from strength to strength.'

In Pembrokeshire - one areas targeted by the campaign - uptake in GP training places went from 0% in 2016 to 100% in 2017, the Welsh Government said.

Harriet Poynter, who is training as a GP in Pembrokeshire after relocating from London, said: 'The information provided through the Live.Train.Work campaign definitely helped sway my decision, as did the incentive to come to the area, which has helped to put a deposit on a house - something I would have found extremely difficult to do in London.'

It comes as health secretary Jeremy Hunt last week announced an expansion of the golden hello scheme in England to an additional 200 GP trainees.

Readers' comments (2)

  • According to the Royal College of Physicians report on physicians in the frontline: The medical workforce in wales in 2016 only 30% of Welsh medical school undergraduates were welsh domiciled compared with 85% in Northern Ireland, 80% in England and 55% in Scotland. This might suggest institutional bias against school pupils in Wales by their own medical schools or possibly be related to fewer private schools in Wales. You are more than 6 times more likely to get into medical school if you go to a private school. Either way, if the welsh government want to tackle recruitment and retention of GPs in Wales, the “golden hello” needs to be their insistence that recruitment of those domiciled in Wales matches the percentage of those in Northern Ireland and English.

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  • Well perhaps this is Wales showing the way. They clearly have to look at their medical school intake because it is highly likely that Welsh graduates will stay in Wales. So here is a challenge to Welsh Medical Schools - you must recruit more Welsh students. There's a lesson here for solving the recruitment crises in England. How about a golden hello - writing off a proportion of student debt if you choose to train and stay in General Practice!

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