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GPC to push for inclusion of GPs on shortage occupation list

The GPC will renew its push for the Home Office to consider GPs for the shortage occupation list, following a vote at today’s LMCs Conference.

Presenting the proposal, which would make it easier to recruit overseas GPs to work in the UK, Redbridge LMC argued that the GP profession fulfills all the requirements to make the list.

Dr Henry Akpabio told delegates GP practices around the country are struggling to recruit partners and salaried GPs alike.

He said that ‘the time has come’ for general practices to be on the list, which already includes nurses and paramedics but also ‘artists, dancers, choreographers… musicians… and chefs’.

He concluded: ‘We want general practice to be on this list because [it] meets all the requirements… there is a diminishing workforce and more and more are retiring early because of the increasing workload. So we need to employ people from other places.’

Responding to the motion, which was clearly carried, GPC executive member Dr Mark Sanford-Wood said a backing of the motion would be ‘warmly welcomed’ as it would strenghten the GPC’s hand in negotiations with the Government, which have so far been unsuccessful.

Delegates also voted to back a motion that called for the GPC to ‘campaign for an early and positive decision by the Government on the right of EU nationals working in general practice, and the wider NHS, to remain in the UK’.

This followed the news that the Conservative Party manifesto pledged to do just that, while the Labour Party opposition has pledged to ensure the rights of all EU nationals resident in the UK.

The motion in full:

REDBRIDGE: That conference requires the UK Visa Bureau to add general practitioners to the UK shortage occupation list.

Clearly carried.