The first of 500 European GPs have received ‘universal support’ from patients, after being brought in to help alleviate the workforce crises in some of the country’s most hard hit regions, GP leaders report.
Ten GPs have already taken up training positions in Lincolnshire following a pioneering scheme by the LMC, which prepares GPs from across Europe for life in the NHS at a boot camp in Poland.
Lincolnshire LMC chair Dr Kieran Sharrock told Pulse that patients were ‘delighted’ at the influx of doctors to surgeries in the region – one of the UK’s most staunchly anti-EU in last year’s referendum.
There are 17 more NHS GPs-to-be currently going through language and induction training in Poland, who are due to arrive in August. The recruitment drive has not been slowed by uncertainty caused by the referendum.
Dr Sharrock told Pulse that the new GPs recognise that the UK ‘provides ‘gold standard general practice’ and they want to ‘develop their careers by coming here’.
Lincolnshire LMC pioneered the workforce scheme, which also provides GPs support with relocation expenses, their language and pastoral needs, and finding a house.
And NHS England committed £20m to rolling out the scheme across England, aiming to bring in 500 GPs to struggling regions in a bid to deliver Jeremy Hunt’s 5,000 GP pledge.
Dr Sharrock said: ‘We have ten in the UK already, seeing patients and having ongoing training and support from practices and the LMC. They are settling in well and are very enthusiastic, and the patients from the practices have been universally supportive, and are delighted to have the GPs in practice.
‘They have all expressed the desire to work in the UK as we provide “gold standard general practice” and they want to develop their careers by coming here.’