Groundbreaking recruitment scheme boosts GP numbers in Havering
PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 October 2018
Newly trained family doctors have started work in Havering as part of a successful scheme to boost the number of GPs able to care for patients in the borough.
The new recruits have taken up roles at local surgeries following a recruitment drive them allows to develop specialist medical skills and help the NHS to address a long standing shortage of GPs across the borough.
NHS commissioners and healthcare organisations joined forces with Health Education England (HEE) to consider how trainee GPs undergoing their medical training locally could be encouraged to stay in the area once qualified.
A new scheme was developed that offers them a permanent job as a GP at one of a number of GP practices in the borough, mentoring by a senior colleague and weekly sessions working in a chosen specialist area such as end of life care, dermatology and emergency medicene.
In Havering, Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge surgeries, seven new GPs accepted offers and they are all working between four and seven sessions a week.
Dr Penny Evans, 33, has joined the team at North Street Medical Care in Romford. She is also doing one specialist session a week in palliative care at Queen’s Hospital.
“I wanted to stay in the area after my training so it’s been a great opportunity to start my career as a GP,” said Dr Evans.
“The palliative care sessions allow to me develop my specialist skills while I build my experience as a GP – that benefits me, the practice and the patients I see.
“Patients have been pleased to learn that I’m a permanent GP as many like to see the same doctor whenever possible. That continuity of care benefits the GP too.”
By taking on part of the workload, they are easing pressure on existing GPs, helping cut waiting lists and allowing them to focus on patients who require their support.
Dr Atul Aggarwal, chairman of NHS Havering Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and a local GP, said: “We’re delighted to have recruited these young doctors to work alongside their more experienced colleagues. “It won’t solve all our issues with waits for appointments and the number of GPs retiring, but it shows we can attract good young doctors to this area if we make the job attractive.
“It’s a great example of what can achieved through organisations working together.”