Campaign to recruit GPs to work in Scotland from across UK launched

The campaign, launched by Humza Yousaf, aims to recruit 800 more family doctors by 2027.

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A campaign to recruit more GPs from across the UK to come to Scotland has kicked off.

Launched on Wednesday by health secretary Humza Yousaf, the initiative is part of the Scottish Government’s aim to appoint 800 more family doctors by 2027.

It includes targeted print and digital advertising and aims to attract GPs to Scotland from other areas of the UK and elsewhere.

The campaign builds on a range of measures which include increasing undergraduate placements, looking at training placements to boost future capacity, incentivising moves to rural practice and providing a wide range of development and support opportunities for GPs throughout their careers.

It was launched as Yousaf visited Leith Surgery to hear its experience of recruiting GPs from outside Scotland.

He said: “GP surgeries continue to be extremely busy and we recognise the vital role they have played in responding to the pandemic. Our focus now is on working with GPs to build a sustainable service for the future.

“We are committed to recruiting a further 800 family doctors by 2027 and this campaign, which focuses on the unique attractions of working as a GP in Scotland, supports that aim. We have a great deal to offer, both in terms of job satisfaction and lifestyle.”

Scotland’s GP headcount increased by 277 from 4,918 to 5,195 between September 2017 and September 2021.

The Government has said that trainee recruitment in 2022 has so far been the most successful of the last five years, with 99% of GP training posts having been filled.

Dr Chris Williams, joint chair of Royal College of General Practitioners Scotland, said: “Scottish general practice is facing significant challenges and recruiting into the profession has never been more important. I am delighted to welcome the launch of a new national GP recruitment campaign.

“Scotland is a truly unique place to work as a GP, with a fantastic range of opportunities available from delivering care in remote and rural communities, to working at the heart of our diverse, inner-city neighbourhoods. There really is something for everyone.

“At RCGP Scotland we will continue to work collaboratively with the Scottish Government and others to ensure that we can build the GP workforce that Scotland requires to deliver the highest standard of care for our patients.”