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GPs to be offered overseas placements and MBA funding in bid to alleviate recruitment crisis

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GPs are being offered the chance to go on six-month overseas sabbaticals and given funding to undertake MBAs in leadership as part of a CCG’s radical bid to tackle the recruitment crisis.

NHS Hull CCG has designed a package of incentives aimed at keeping GPs in the area for six years and longer because it has been particularly hit by the recruitment crisis engulfing the whole of the country.

As part of the package, the CCG will find overseas placements for trainee and qualified GPs, will fund MBA or a Masters degrees in education or leadership and will give GPs the opportunity to work in different practices.

In return, GPs will be expected to work in Hull for six years, with a hope that they will remain locally after the end of the six years.

In Yorkshire and Humber, only 78% of training positions were filled this year, the third lowest in the country.

GP Dr Mike Holmes, who is associate medical director at the CCG, told Pulse: ‘It’s no secret that recruitment has been difficult in Hull which is an under-doctored area. We hope that we have put together an attractive package.’

The six years period will help with retention, Dr Holmes said, and enable GPs to get to grips with local issues and form a longstanding relationship with patients.

The sabbatical element of the package is something that Holmes ‘has not come across before’ and will enable doctors to bring experience gained abroad back to the UK to benefit patients here.

If the recruitment process proves successful it will be repeated next year, he added.

Earlier this year, Pulse revealed that health education bosses have overseen the worst GP recruitment round for seven years.

A report from a taskforce on the training crisis recommended radical solutions such as capping the number of training places available.

Along with GP trainees, practices are suffering from a dearth of partnerships – one in 10 partnership vacancies are know to go unfilled for more than a year while around 25% are vacant for six months.

Some practices have been forced to offer £20,000 ‘golden hellos’ to attract partners.