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1 in 10 GPs hired under NHS EU recruitment scheme will drop out

1 in 10 GPs hired under NHS EU recruitment scheme will drop out

One in 10 doctors recruited under NHS England’s drive to hire GPs from the EU are likely to drop out, a GP leader has said.
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One in 10 doctors recruited under NHS England’s drive to hire GPs from the EU are likely to drop out, a GP leader has said.

Speaking at Healthcare Leader Forums in Birmingham, Dr Kieran Sharrock, medical director at Lincolnshire LMC said the recruitment company used locally as part of the GP EU recruitment pilot scheme warned them that one in 10 of the new recruits will drop out in the first three to six months.

He told Healthcare Leader that the recruitment company’s prediction ‘looks like it might turn out to be about right’.

He said that during the pilot, they offered jobs to ’27 or 28’ people with two or three initially dropping out due to ill health.

He added: ‘I think there's one of our 26 who is already getting cold feet.’

Dr Sharrock told delegates the best way to mitigate against drop outs is to recruit multiple GPs from abroad to a federation working at scale.

He said: ‘Let’s say one practice recruits one doctor and that doctor drops out they've lost 100% of their doctors.

‘If 10 practices recruit 10 doctors and one of them drops out, the 10 practices only lose 10% of their doctors and you can share them.’

Lincolnshire was one of three pilot sites, also including Essex and Hull, to recruit GPs from the EU.

Dr Sharrock instigated the scheme over a year ago in response to the local workforce crisis, before NHS England launched its own EU recruitment programme.

NHS England is looking to recruit 2,000 GPs from the EU in an effort to hit its target of adding 5,000 extra GPs to the workforce by 2020.

However, Dr Sharrock said Brexit poses a concern for upcoming recruitment efforts.

He said: ‘I do worry about future recruitment rounds because it's not just the UK that's short of GPs.

‘The company programme that we're using, recruits doctors to Sweden, Norway, Finland and France.

‘All over the northern part of Europe is short of doctors and so doctors may think well actually, I'm leaving Poland, I'll just go to Sweden because they're not going to be leaving the EU.’

He added that Brexit is more of a concern for the families of the doctors ‘because the doctors are likely to be allowed to stay because they're in an occupation that's desperately needed’.

Dr Sharrock said: ‘What about the family and the children, are they going to get deported?’

He added: ‘My answer to them is that I can't give you a definitive answer but I wouldn't think the NHS would invest £40-50,000 in recruiting and training you to then kick you out but then again the Government do bloody stupid things.’

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