A Scottish health board has failed to attract a single applicant for a GP role despite offering a salary over £80,000 per year plus a golden hello and a relocation package.
In posting the role, NHS Highland offered a salary ranging from £73,370-£83,617, a golden hello incentive and a relocation package to applicants, but with no applicants it remains in charge of running the practice which it took over at the end of June when Dr Alan Belbin retired.
The health board, which had planned to recruit salaried GPs to be based in Durness but work across different locations including Kinlochbervie and Scourie, told the Herald Scotland that it is ‘considering all options’ and will meet with local community representatives to consider how to move forward.
According to Herald Scotland, this comes despite the ‘scenic’ town of Durness in Sutherland having ‘a beach which is rated one of the best in Scotland’.
Last month a BBC Scotland investigation showed that health boards had to step in to run 42 GP practices and Pulse revealed that practices in the Dumfries and Galloway region are in such a precarious position regarding GP shortages that any unexpected event such as staff illness could lead to a practice failing.
The situation looked set only to worsen as Scottish health boards managed to fill just 240 of the 305 GP training places on offer in this year’s recruitment round.