NHS England have today announced a new programme to get the general practice workforce in England back on the road. It’s not just aimed at GPs, stating that there will be a boost too for ‘developing the role’ (our quotes) of nurses and pharmacists.
The money will go towards recruiting more fully trained doctors to become GPs; retaining more of the workforce, including retired GPs, and smoothing the way for GPs to return from overseas or career breaks. More training, lighter workload and cash boosts are all cited as mechanisms to make this happen.
Specifically though, this funding is being aimed at areas where general practitioners aren’t currently that keen to work. And there is no mention of locums, although not surprising since NHS England don’t know how many of us there are.
A primary factor in today’s announcement is how NHS England will boost GP recruitment by lengthening training by one year so that GPs-in-training could have an extra year’s experience working in hospital clinical specialities. Hmmm. Not quite sure the of the logic, but it sounds nice.
This new scheme is also backed by Health Education England (HEE), the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the British Medical Association (BMA), the latter two of which also issued welcome, albeit somewhat guarded, statements on this new funding.
More details will no doubt follow from NHS England over the next few weeks and months.