The number of GP vacancies has risen significantly in the last few years, with a recent Pulse survey (2016) finding that around 12% of GP posts in the UK are vacant, the highest proportion ever recorded.
NHS England’s General Practice Forward View acknowledges the difficulties in recruitment, and a range of initiatives have been put in place to grow and support a sustainable GP workforce by 2020/21. The Targeted Investment in Recruiting Returning Doctors Scheme offers marketing support to promote vacancies, targeting areas with the most severe shortages.
The scheme also aims to encourage experienced doctors to return to/remain in general practice and supports those who wish to work in England as GPs. As such, it is primarily aimed at doctors on the Induction and Refresher (I&R) scheme , Retained Doctor Scheme and those looking to return to practice, who are eligible for up to £10,000 of relocation and education bursary expenses when taking up a position at one of the practices.
Midlands and Lancashire CSU (MLCSU) has been commissioned as part of the scheme to support recruitment for GP practices in the Midlands and East and recently launched the GP recruitment website –Different Practices– to promote GP practices and vacancies in the areas.
Sarah Thirlwall, MLCSU Communications and Engagement Manager, said: “Our approach has been to really understand what potential candidates are looking for so we can highlight vacancies at GP practices which meet those needs. The website reflects what doctors have told us is important to them when looking for a GP role.”
The website features GP vacancies in a wide variety of places, such as Birmingham, Nottingham, Peterborough, Essex and rural Herefordshire. Videos, practice profiles, area and lifestyle information give GPs a real feel for the opportunities on offer. There are also several articles on topics such as returning to practice, relocation (whether within the UK or from overseas) and achieving a work/life balance, which are particularly relevant to potential candidates.
Although primarily aimed at doctors on the schemes, the website is also being promoted to GPs across the country and beyond, who are welcome to apply for vacancies.