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GPs escape to the country to promote rural GP training

An innovative campaign to promote general practice training in underdoctored parts of the UK has sprung up through social media, showing Cumbrian GPs consulting on lakeside jetties and among Neolithic stone circles.

The #GreatBritishConsultations tag was the brainchild of the East Cumbria GP Training Programme. The campaign hopes to set out the benefits of training and practising medicine in one of the UK’s most picturesque areas.

The programme sets trainees themselves the task of explaining what inspires them about rural practice, and the website states trainees will have opportunities for placements in urban and rural practices around the Lake District, Scottish borders and ‘Hadrian’s Wall country’.

East Cumbria GP Training Programme director, Dr Natalie Hawkrig, told Pulse: ‘Working as part of Health Education North East to train GPs in East Cumbria, we are fully aware of the national issues around recruiting GP trainees into rural areas. We wanted to develop something that showed potential trainees that working in a rural environment can offer diversity and career satisfaction whilst being surrounded by beauty.’

Current GP trainee, Rose Singleton, said of the scheme: ‘We started #GreatBritishConsultations as a way of getting noticed on social media. I love training in this beautiful rural area and wanted to inspire others to do the same. It’s important to me that rural areas are not seen as “second best”; in East Cumbria we have an incredible training scheme that is flexible, innovative and forward- thinking and we want others to know about it.’

The local scheme comes amid national drives to recruit more GPs after Pulse revealed that applications for the first intake round of GP training posts fell this year for the second year in a row.

Great British Consultations 3 - Steve Razzetti (

Great British Consultations 4 - Steve Razzetti (