NHS on target to recruit more GPs

NHS is on target to reach its goal of recruiting 2,000 more GPs by March 2004,
according to new figures released today by the Department of Health.

mini-census of GP numbers shows that between March and June 2003 a further 290
GPs were recruited, bringing the total number recruited since 1999 to 1,530.
This brings the total GP growth rate to 5.4 per cent.

number of initiatives have been developed to improve GP recruitment and
retention. These include:

The Flexible Careers Scheme being extended to GPs in November 2002. The scheme
aims to offer more opportunities to work flexibly and to help GPs strike the
right work-life balance.

The GP Returner Scheme, which was launched in November 2002 to provide a clear,
supported route back into General Practice. Under the scheme, returning GPs
receive paid, individually tailored refresher training, a dedicated return
co-ordinator and a contribution towards their professional expenses.

A Delayed Retirement Scheme encourages GPs to stay working longer in the NHS.
The scheme gives GPs aged 60 and over payments of up to £2,000 per year up to a
total of £10,000 spread over five years to continue working to the age of 65.


By Michael Millar

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