91% of GP training places in Wales filled

Ninety-one per cent of GP training places in Wales have so far been filled following a highly successful campaign to promote Wales to doctors, Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething announced

The Welsh Government and NHS Wales launched the “This is Wales: Train, Work, Live” campaign in October 2016, in order to promote Wales as an excellent place for doctors, including GPs, and their families, to train, work and live.

In April, the Health Secretary announced the fill rate for GP training places at the end of round one was 84%, which compared to 68% at the same stage in 2016.

Following the round one re-advert, the fill rate has increased to 91% for 2017 (124 out of 136 posts filled). This compares to a 75% fill rate in 2016.

The new financial incentive scheme in targeted areas of Wales has resulted in 100% fill rates in the following GP training schemes:

  • Ceredigion
  • North Wales West
  • Pembrokeshire
  • North Wales East

Trainees will begin their training in August 2017.

Round two, which aims to recruit GP trainees to take up post in February 2018, will open in August 2017.

Vaughan Gething said: “Improving access to GP and other local health services is one of my top priorities. Ensuring we have the right staff in place in the right places is crucial.

“So I’m really pleased our This is Wales: Train, Work, Live campaign has resulted in a significant increase in the number of trainee GPs coming to Wales – with 91% of training places filled already after round one. I’m particularly pleased our financial incentives have resulted in all training places being filled in some of the areas that have traditionally found it difficult to recruit.”

The Health Secretary added: “We’re continuing to reform our primary care services – with GPs working with pharmacists, nurses, therapists and other professionals as part of a wider team to ensure people receive the right care, at the right time, by the right person, as locally as possible. We are committed to working with our staff to develop the local healthcare team for the future.

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“People’s access to these services will increasingly improve as we recruit more GPs and other healthcare professionals to fill roles across Wales.”

Last month, the Welsh Government and NHS Wales launched the second phase of the This is Wales: Train, Work, Live campaign, targeted at nurses in primary care, secondary care and the care home sector. Future phases of the campaign will target pharmacists and allied health professionals.

RCGP Chair, Dr Rebecca Payne, welcomed the news and said: “I am delighted at the Health Secretary’s news that all GP training places have been filled and that additional capacity has been created for those doctors choosing to train, work and live in Wales. This is an important milestone and a step on the journey towards training the 200 GPs per year that we need for Wales.

“Last year, RCGP Wales launched ‘Transform,’ our roadmap for transformation which outlined the steps that need to be taken to strengthen general practice. As part of this, we called on the Government to run a major recruitment campaign to help address the GP shortage.

“Train Work Live has been a positive campaign and I am glad that we are seeing it pay off.

“We need to expand the GP workforce by 485 GPs by 2021 and the increase in GP trainees is real progress towards this. I now encourage the Welsh Government to go one step further and boost the numbers of GP training places to 200 a year and do more to encourage existing GPs to stay in the profession for longer.”

“General practice is a fantastic and highly rewarding career. GPs are passionate advocates for patient care and we are privileged to care for patients from the cradle to the grave. GP colleagues across Wales are active promoting general practice to school students and trainee doctors.”

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