Help to boost Colchester and Ipswich GP trainee numbers in hard-to-recruit areas

Colchester and Ipswich are part of 22 locations across England which will benefit from a national scheme to recruit trainee GPs to work in areas where vacancies for family doctors are hardest to fill.

Under the Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme (TERS), run by NHS England and Health Education England, the trainees must commit to working there for three years in return for a £20,000 “golden hello” funded by NHS England.

In the latest round of the Scheme, up to six GP trainees will be supported in Colchester and Ipswich. More than 500 trainee GPs have been recruited to work in areas of the country where vacancies for family doctors are hardest to fill since the Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme started in 2016/17.

The Scheme is one of a series of measures that NHS England is taking to improve access to general practice services that have already been put in place or will be rolled out as part of the NHS long term plan.

Dr David Levy, Medical Director for NHS England (Midlands and East, said: “Although overall recruitment of GPs is increasing, in some parts of our region a significant proportion of GP training places have been unfilled. This scheme helps relieve pressure on general practices facing the most severe recruitment challenges, thereby supporting and improving services in these areas over time.

“TERS has already had a hugely positive impact in other parts of the Midlands and East, such as in Lincolnshire. Improving access to general practice services is a key priority for the NHS long term plan and that is even more vital in areas that have historically found it difficult to attract GPs.”

The Director and Dean of Education and Quality, Midlands and East, and Lead for Primary Care at Health Education England (HEE), Professor Simon Gregory DL, said: “Health Education England is pleased with the take-up of the Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme this year. It is playing an important role in helping to boost recruitment in hard to recruit to areas and supports our GP specialty recruitment campaign.

“HEE recruited the highest ever number of people accepting offers of GP Specialty training in NHS history last year, passing the annual target of 3,250 for the very first time. 3,473 doctors were recruited in 2017-18 compared with 2,693 in 2015-16.”

As well as recruiting more GPs, as part of the Long Term Plan the NHS will continue to grow the number of highly trained health professionals working with GPs in multidisciplinary teams. There are more than 5,300 more health professionals, such as nurses and pharmacists working with GPs than three years ago.