The RAF is offering a £50,000 signing bonus for suitable GP recruits as part of a recruitment drive to enlist in-demand medical specialties to be full-time medical officers.
The salary for a qualified medical officer who has already completed GP or specialty training starts a £96,000 and includes subsidised living, education support and six weeks holiday a year on top of the signing bonus after a period of training.
But GPs tempted to leave the NHS must be between 21 and 53 and would have to sign on for a minimum six to twelve year commitment and the possibility of being posted to bases overseas, and serving in field hospitals.
This follows NHS England’s ten-point action plan to address GP workforce problems, through ‘golden handshakes’ to incentivise medical students into GP training as well as retaining existing GPs.
A testimonial on the RAF advertisement from ‘Elaine’ a serving deputy senior medical officer at RAF Leeming explains what the role entails.
She says: ‘The aspect that makes the difference from NHS GP is truly being an integral part of the community that you serve. Being part of this community on the station provides an amazing network that really looks after each other.’
The advert adds that virtually all CPD and exam fees are funded by the military and pension contributions are made by the RAF.
Pulse recently revealed that application rates to GP training have fallen for the second year in a row, and last year 12% of available training places went unfilled as medical students pass over under pressure general practice.