Scotland's GP recruitment problem to be tackled by 'Wanderers and Adventurers'

A new initiative called ‘Wanderers and Adventurers’ is being launched in a bid to address Scotland’s long-standing problem of GP recruitment and retention.

GP recruitment drive launched

It offers doctors the opportunity to commit to a particular practice but is designed with maximum flexibility and 18 weeks of unpaid leave a year to allow them to pursue other interests.

The project will run alongside an existing scheme set up last year that recruited 33 GPs to work for short periods in vulnerable rural practices - now being extended across the country.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Doctors are being sought to work together in small teams in practices throughout Scotland that have recruitment difficulties.

The governance and evaluation of both schemes will be the responsibility of the Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative (SRMC), which was set up with Scottish Government funding in 2018 to develop and test innovative ways of improving GP recruitment and retention in 10 rural health board areas.

Read More

Read More

“We are now looking to recruit another tranche of GPs for that purpose: doctors who will be contracted to provide work cover for short periods in practices across Scotland.”

He added: “As we suspected would be the case, ‘Rediscover the Joy’ has proved particularly attractive to doctors who had either recently retired or planned to do so but who were nevertheless keen to try new and challenging work in different parts of the country.

“However, there is another demographic of doctors we are keen to attract: perhaps younger people who wish to pursue other interests, such as travel, working for periods in low or middle income countries or practising expedition medicine, for example, while still being committed to general practice in Scotland.

“‘Wanderers and Adventurers’ will offer doctors the kind of flexibility in their life many crave while ensuring that practices benefit from dedicated nuclear teams of highly-motivated GPs.”

Ralph Roberts, the SRMC’s chairman and chief executive of NHS Borders, said: “Our remit is to come up with innovative ways of tackling what has seemed an intractable problem and I believe these initiatives do that.”