With Primary Care facing a recruitment crisis that’s pushing practices to breaking point, NHSEs recent recruitment initiatives have left practices in London in no mans land as millions of pounds are invested into recruitment of GPs in more acute areas.
London Practices have found themselves at the back of the list in terms of assistance with GP Recruitment despite 24 out of 32 London CCGs having Patient to GP ratios exceeding 1500 Patients per GP.
NHSE have ploughed funds into 3 major recruitment initiatives, only one of which has encompassed London. The Target Enhanced Recruitment Scheme (TERS) / Golden Hello Scheme, The International GP Recruitment Scheme, and the GP Retainer are scheme. However, only the GP Retainer Scheme sees London Practices as beneficiaries.
Is the GP Retainer Scheme even benefiting London practices?
The GP Retainer Scheme is marketed as a ‘package of financial and educational support’ designed to help retain doctors who might otherwise leave the profession. The scheme has had mixed reviews since inception a few years back. However, looking in retrospect the numbers are abysmal. Recent NHS Digital Data lists 36 GP retainers in the entirety of London. We’ve crunched the numbers below:
Assuming all 36 GP Retainers are working 4 sessions – The maximum number of permissible sessions as a GP Retainer – the total number of session coming from Retainer GPs across London would be 144. This translates to 72 days’ worth of cover. With there being 1,330 practices across the capital, the Retainer Scheme has provided on average an additional 0.108 sessions per practice per week!
Ultimately, NHS England are failing practices in the London leaving Practices and Practice Managers in a complete recruitment crisis prompting a domino effect on CQC Scores, Patient Feedback Scores and other key performance indicators. It’s clear Practice Managers are going to require some ingenuity to ensure their practice is adequately staffed and running smoothly as NHSE obviously aren’t to be relied on!