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Practices talk up social life in bid to attract new GPs

GP practices in Scotland are emphasising their social side in job adverts in an attempt to attract new talent amid a severe workforce shortage.

In a search for a part-time GP, the ‘forward thinking’ Kennoway Medical Group in Fife said they encouraged a good work/life balance and ‘recent social events have included a curry night, team building afternoon in “Escape rooms”, annual BBQ and summer bus trip along the East Neuk of Fife – “booze cruise’”.

The advert also pointed out that time would be given during working hours for paperwork, with six weeks’ annual leave and one week’s study leave part of the contract.

Another opportunity for a full-time salaried or partner GP, offered by Kirkcaldy Health Centre, said they were on the lookout for a ‘fun-loving GP’ to work with ‘very experienced support staff who like a laugh’.

It added: ‘Come to Fife, we even have a new bridge!’

The RCGP said that with the current workforce crisis, adverts for vacancies increasingly included aspects that might attract new staff other than a simple job description.

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RCGP Scotland chair Dr Carey Lunan said: ‘One important aspect of doctors having a professional duty to keep themselves healthy can be reducing the risk of burnout by maintaining a good work-life balance.’

She added: ‘It is well recognised that creating opportunities for colleagues to spend time together outside of the working environment helps to build relationships of trust, that in turn create committed teams that can work, and learn well together.

‘It is also well known that the GP workforce is in crisis at the current time, and increasingly adverts for vacancies include not just the details of practice itself but what the team ethos and culture is like, and what might attract GPs to live and work in an area.

‘GPs, who are after all just ordinary people, should be supported to live as well as to serve.’