Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services
I am pleased to announce a significant increase in the fill rate achieved for GP training in Wales following the conclusion of round 2 recruitment. This highlights the success of the national campaign in supporting the Wales Deanery to attract additional GP trainees to Wales.
The Train Work Live campaign supports the Welsh Government’s commitment to “take action to attract and train more GPs, nurses and other health professionals across Wales”.
The campaign includes two financial incentives schemes: a targeted scheme offering a £20,000 incentive to GP trainees taking up posts in specified areas with a trend of low fill rates, and a universal scheme offering a one off payment for all GP trainees to cover the cost of one sitting of their final examinations.
Since the launch of the campaign in October 2016 we have been working with our partners, including the Wales Deanery, to establish Wales across the UK and internationally as an excellent place for doctors including GPs, to train, work and live. A year in, the campaign is delivering positive results.
At the end of round 1 re-advert I confirmed that 91% of our GP training places were filled (124 out of 136 places filled). Following the conclusion of all three rounds of recruitment (round 1, round 1 re-advert and round 2), the Wales Deanery has now confirmed the appointment of 144 places, surpassing the 136 training places available at the beginning of the recruitment round.
In the UK, doctors who achieve a place on a GP training programme are entitled to defer starting their training for a period of up to 12 months; some trainees who accepted a place in one of the three recruitment rounds may choose to defer their start date.
Of those areas that have traditionally found it difficult to recruit and where the targeted incentive based approach has been introduced, 100% fill rates have been achieved in Ceredigion, North East Wales, North West Wales and Pembrokeshire.
Last month, I visited Winch Lane Surgery in Haverfordwest to re-launch the medical campaign, with new ‘faces’ of the campaign, an updated medical brochure and updated website featuring real life case studies. The campaign will continue to target potential GP trainees and qualified GPs both within the UK and internationally.
Following the overall success of the financial incentives schemes in increasing the GP training fill rates for 2017, I have agreed to extend both the universal and targeted incentive schemes for a further year.