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BMA using ‘speed dating’ approach to match GPs to practices

Scottish GPs are the latest to adopt a ‘speed dating’ approach to tackle the recruitment crisis and find the perfect match between new doctors and practices.

As part of the BMA Scotland scheme, GPs and practices seeking new doctors will come together in a series of events so that GPs unsure about their next career steps can ‘find out about life in practices in different parts of the country’.

The move comes as vacancies in Scottish practices continue to rise. The latest primary care workforce survey from Information Services Division Scotland revealed that one in four practices are reporting at least one vacancy – double the number two years previously. In addition, the whole-time equivalent number of GPs in post is falling, and more than a third of the workforce is aged over 50.

Dr Alan McDevitt, Scotland GPC chair, stressed that the speed-dating events were not a substitute for other steps to improve recruitment and retention, including a new GP contract to make it attractive for GPs to build careers and lives in Scotland.

He added: ‘BMA Scotland is always interested in supporting practices to try innovative ways to attract GPs. I’m looking forward to chairing the event in Glasgow – and hope that it results in some perfect matches.’

Scotland’s first speed-dating events for GPs and practices will take place in June in Glasgow and Fife.

This scheme is not the first time that speed dating has been used to attract more GPs.

Last year the RCGP Vale of Trent Faculty invited 60 final year GP trainees and First5 GPs to meet with GPs and other representatives from 24 GP practices in the East Midlands at a speed dating event.

Trainees talked to every practice for three minutes, to give them a taste of what it would be like to work there.