Sunderland GP 'golden hello' scheme helping ensure city has enough doctors

Just two GPs recruited to work in Sunderland through a ‘golden hello’ scheme have left the city since it launched in 2015.

Thursday, 25th February 2021, 5:35 pm
Updated Friday, 26th February 2021, 8:50 am
The scheme was set up to make sure Sunderland had enough GPs.

Since it was set up, 30 places have been offered to trainees, with 16 of the 18 to have completed the course so far opting to stay in Sunderland.

And according to a review of the initiative, its alumni are taking up increasingly advanced roles.

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It said: “There are some examples of the specialist interests being pursued by the career start GPs contributing to emerging models of care in Sunderland, as well as career start GPs taking on leadership roles.

“However there is a need to build on this and strengthen alignment to deliver the principles of the new national fellowship programme model.

“It is difficult to draw firm conclusions of the views of the participants. However it seems to suggest the scheme was overall a positive experience for GPs and host practices.”

The report was prepared by the Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which funds the scheme to the tune of £600,000 a year.

It was launched following a 2014 survey which showed more than a quarter of Wearside’s GPs were over 55 and warned changing pension rules was likely to make many opt for early retirement.

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.

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