‘Golden hello’ deals worth more than £200,000 were used to entice GPs to Sunderland last year.
According to a report for city care chiefs, £208,000 was paid to 14 different practices in 2018/19 to attract new recruits.
And a further payout worth £20,000 for a 15th surgery is also expected to be approved soon.
Added to the final figures for the end of year accounts, this is expected to leave the total spend at £228,289.
This is more than £53,000 over the expected bill of £175,000 – but still less than the £300,000 budgeted to fund the scheme.
In 2017/18, ‘golden hellos’ were used to recruit 19 doctors at a cost of £302,214.
Health bosses at Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have defended the payouts in the past, claiming they have been a ‘deciding factor’ in attracting medics to the city.
Figures in the report also showed £200,000 was spent in the last financial year on scanning patients records into computer systems.
The CCG’s accounts are due to be discussed at tomorrow’s meeting of its Primary Care Commissioning Committee.
Sunderland CCG Golden Hellos:
GPs commit to a minimum of a three-year contract to qualify for the incentive
The maximum £20,000 payment applies for GPs who are working full-time
The scheme has run for two years since 2017/18 and will be reviewed
James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service