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Wales fills 91% of GP training places after introducing incentive scheme

Wales has managed 100% GP training fill rates in several areas after introducing financial incentives.

For the country as a whole, intake for August has produced a 91% fill rate, leaving just 12 out of 136 total posts unfilled.

Four areas – Ceredigion, North Wales East, North Wales West and Pembrokeshire – have achieved 100% fill rates, all after introducing new financial incentives to attract candidates.

From August, GP trainees in Wales will receive a £2,000 bursary to cover the cost of their final exam. In addition, GP trainees opting to train in areas suffering recruitment difficulties will also receive a £20,000 ‘golden hello’ dependent on them staying in Wales for their first year of practice.

Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething said: ‘I’m particularly pleased our financial incentives have resulted in all training places being filled in some of the areas that have traditionally found it difficult to recruit.’

The financial incentives form part of the Welsh Government’s This is Wales: Train, Work, Live campaign, which was expanded last month to also target nurses in primary care, secondary care and the care home sector.

Future phases of the campaign will further target pharmacists and allied health professionals, the Welsh Government has said.

GPC Wales chair Dr Charlotte Jones said: ‘These figures are a positive step in the right direction, and the financial incentives offered to all trainees towards their speciality examinations and the separate incentives given to support training and remaining in certain parts of Wales, have no doubt played a crucial role.

‘We would like to see these initiatives developed further, where appropriate, to ensure we can attract GPs into training and look to expand upon the number of training places, where there is demand to do so.’