GP recruitment ‘hub’ in rural Scotland proves successful

As reported by Shetland News, a recruitment ‘hub’ to tempt GPs into rural areas has already seen some success

A GP recruitment ‘hub’ launched by NHS Shetland has proven successful.

The aim is to attract GPs to the area in the north of Scotland, following the government’s agreement to fund the venture.

The scheme covers health boards in Shetland, Orkney, the Western Isles and the Highlands, where recruitment and retention is often difficult due to the rural locations.

However, around 14 people, so far, have stepped up for the opportunity to work in these areas for between four and 18 weeks a year. More are expected to sign up.

Additionally, the NHS Shetland health board has employed two people on a fixed-term basis whose job it will be to reach out to GPs and respond to those expressing an interest in the scheme, according to the chief executive, Ralph Roberts.

“One of the key areas of learning from other projects has been this personal approach of continually speaking to and really understanding what is driving an individual to look at working in a remote and rural location,” Roberts said.

The scheme could be moved into other areas of Scotland if it proves successful.

Of the first 14 signed up, it is expected that around three will spend time working in Shetland.

“Shetland is supporting this for and has been funded to do this on behalf of the north of Scotland, while also looking to make sure that Shetland receive our fair share of the GPs identified,” Roberts added.

He added that the scheme is a “work in progress”.

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