The Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething says that 91% of GP training places in Wales beginning in August 2017 have been filled after the first round of recruitment.
He attributes the increase, up from 75% at the equivalent stage in 2016, to a campaign run by the Welsh government and NHS Wales that promoted the country as a great place to train, live and work. There were also financial incentive schemes available in some regions of Wales, leading to 100% fill rates in four regions (Ceredigion, North Wales West, Pembrokeshire and North Wales East).
Gething says the recruitment drive is part of a wider plan to increase access to GPs and local services.
“We’re continuing to reform our primary care services — with GPs working with pharmacists, nurses, therapists and other professionals as part of a wider team to ensure people receive the right care, at the right time, from the right person,” says Gething.
He adds: “People’s access to these services will increasingly improve as we recruit more GPs and other healthcare professionals to fill roles across Wales.”
The government and NHS have recently extended the ‘This is Wales: Train Work Live’ campaign to the recruitment of nurses and say they plan to target pharmacists and allied health professionals in the future.
The second round of GP recruitment for commencement in February 2018 will open in August 2017.