12th June 2016

£20,000 Offered for New GPs in Underserved Areas

The NHS England and Health Education England has launched a Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme to offer one-off bursary to new General Practitioners (GP) in an underserved area.

The scheme offered £20,000 bursaries in a lump sum and 3 years contract with no relocation option. The local HEE office will administer the bursary.

The offer has been formulated for those places of England with insufficient doctors and was found hard to recruit in the last three years. The main reason has been its geographical location, nonetheless they had good track record for education.

The areas include East Cumbria, Lincolnshire, South Cumbria, Blackpool, Northern Lincolnshire (Scunthorpe & Grimsby), West Lakes and the Isle of Wight.

The first round of GP training intake starts in August 2016. Trainees can apply for 109 bursaries till 12th of February. The scheme will be running till all posts are filled. Doctors who leave prior to their contract end will have to pay back a part of the bursary.

The Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme is a part of 10-point plan for the GP workforce, which was launched in January last year. The whole plan is a joint effort of NHS England, HEE, British Medical Association and Royal College of General Practitioners.

BMA has supported the scheme, said was the only way to tackle such serious matter, or may also need to consider more incentives for those doctors such as paying off trainee student loans etc.

HEE spokesperson stated there are other many reasons that made it more difficult to attract and recruit trainees.

Chairman of the education, training and workforce subcommittee of BMA’s General Practitioner, Krishna Kasaraneni said in a statement that he hopes the scheme to work successfully. And further added that the scheme is not enough to solve the GP recruitment problems and not convincing enough for a doctor to change his/her mind. The scheme’s main purpose is to retain doctors in the area for long term and fill GP vacant training places.

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