A scheme that offers newly qualified GPs the chance to work in other settings alongside a role in general practice is being piloted in Portsmouth.
The First 5 GP Preceptorship Pilot is to recruit portfolio salaried GPs who will undertake a 12-month specialist placement at the same time as working in general practice.
Placements will be within public health, mental health, community services and Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance with more opportunities being established.
The scheme has been introduced by NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board (ICB) and Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance to attract more newly qualified GPs to the area at a time of high demand for doctors.
The RCGP has said that falling GP numbers mean an increased workload in general practice. It said in August 2022, each GP was looking after 2,248 patients on average, compared to 1,938 in 2015 – a 16% increase.
Portsmouth has one of the lowest ratios of GP per patient in the country so it is hoped that offering portfolio opportunities will attract newly qualified GPs to the area.
Dr Mark Swindells, a local GP and director at Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance, said: ‘Working in another setting outside of general practice will allow newly qualified GPs to increase their knowledge of the wider health and care system in Portsmouth; seeing how things can be integrated and encourage more partnership working across primary and secondary care.’
Dr Linda Collie, a local GP and clinical director for Portsmouth at NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board in Portsmouth, described the initiative as ‘innovative and exciting’ and said it would support practices, improve outcomes for patients and benefit newly qualified doctors.
‘We hope the pilot will allow GPs to gain additional opportunities, build greater knowledge and skills, and have greater job satisfaction,’ she said.
Once appointed, candidates will begin their preceptorship programme at one of the six participating practices in Portsmouth. They will deliver seven sessions per week at the GP practice and a further two sessions as part of their placement, which accounts for one-fifth of their role.
Throughout the scheme, they will be supported by Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance. This includes a full induction, access to training, mentoring and wellbeing, and support through the already established First 5 Group with monthly peer meetings for GPs within five years of qualification.
The First 5 GP Preceptorship Pilot is being delivered through Health and Care Portsmouth, a partnership of six organisations – including NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight ICB and Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance – to make health and social care better in Portsmouth.
The six GP practices taking part in the scheme are:
- East Shore Medical Group
- Island City Practice
- Portsdown Group Practice
- The Drayton Surgery
- Trafalgar Medical Group Practice
- UniCity Medical Centre
Applications are open until 26 September 2023.