A new CCG recruitment programme in East Yorkshire is targeting Dutch doctors to tackle its local GP shortage.
The programme, set up by NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG, marks one of the first initiatives by CCGs co-commissiong GP services alongside NHS England area teams.
The CCG confirmed it is targeting GPs from the Netherlands saying it is working up plans together with overseas ‘partner organisations’, as first reported in the Hull Daily Mail, but said the plans were ‘in their infancy’.
NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG medical advisor Craig Dobson told Pulse the scheme is was one of a number of initiatives to attract new GPs amid a shortage of new recruits available to work at local GP practices.
He said: ‘Whilst the recruitment of GPs from abroad is in its infancy in terms of planning with our partner organisations, we are excited for what it means for the future of GP recruitment in the Humber area.
‘Our local position mirrors the national position with a shortage of GPs and doctors leaving the profession. As a result we’re carrying out a number of initiatives designed to attract GPs into the local area to meet increasing demand and ease the pressure on other healthcare professionals and services.’
The GPC’s representative for the region welcomed the plans with the caveat that they got an appropriate induction to the system.
Dr Andrew Green, a GP in Hedon in East Yorkshire, said the local areas was ‘unfortunately a recruitment black spot’ for general practice.
He added: ‘Particularly some of the coastal practices are finding it very hard to recruit. Many practices in East Yorkshire have got long term vacancies for partners and there’s also problems within the city of Hull itself, which has a very high number of GPs over the age of 55 and single-handed GPs. How the CCG is going to recruit into those places is obviously of great concern.
‘Providing we can be assured of the training of these doctors, then looking further afield is a very good thing to do. Obviously any doctor going from one healthcare system to another will need a period of induction and a period of time when they are working under supervision, but I don’t think there’s any reason to assume they won’t be suitable.”
Pulse revealed earlier this month that around one third of training places were vacant following the first round of recruitment this year, inclulding 291 vacancies – 34% – in the East Yorkshire and Humber region.