Doctors offered £20,000 to work in west Norfolk

Stock photo of a GP. Photo: Denise Bradley

Stock photo of a GP. Photo: Denise Bradley - Credit: EDP, Archant

Doctors are being offered a £20,000 golden hello to come and work in west Norfolk.

The area is one of 22 across England where a new scheme to recruit trainee GPs has been launched to stem shortages, where vacancies for family doctors are hardest to fill.

Under the Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme (TERS), run by NHS England and Health Education England, the trainees must commit to working in the area for three years in return for the NHS England bonus.

In the latest round of the scheme, up to six GP trainees will be supported in West Norfolk, while more than 500 have been recruited nationally.

Dr David Levy, medical director for NHS England, said: 'Although overall recruitment of GPs is increasing, in some parts of our region a significant proportion of GP training places have been unfilled. This scheme helps relieve pressure on general practices facing the most severe recruitment challenges, thereby supporting and improving services in these areas over time.

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'Improving access to general practice services is a key priority for the NHS long term plan and that is even more vital in areas that have historically found it difficult to attract GPs.'

Prof Simon Gregory, lead for primary care at Health Education England, said: 'Health Education England is pleased with the take-up of the targeted enhanced recruitment scheme this year. It is playing an important role in helping to boost recruitment in hard to recruit to areas and supports our GP speciality recruitment campaign.

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'HEE recruited the highest ever number of people accepting offers of GP speciality training in NHS history last year, passing the annual target of 3,250 for the very first time. 3,473 doctors were recruited in 2017-18 compared with 2,693 in 2015-16.'

As well as recruiting more GPs as part of its long term plan, the NHS hopes to continue to grow the number of health professionals working alongside GPs. There are more than 5,300 nurses and pharmacists working with GPs than three years ago.

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