‘A real success story for Sunderland’ - doctors offered up to £20,000 boost to work in the city
Nearly 30 family doctors have been attracted to work in Sunderland by being offered ‘golden hellos’ by health bosses.
Sunderland’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) launched the scheme in 2017 as part of a drive to boost staffing levels in the city.
And medics who agree to take up a post for a minimum of three years in a Sunderland practice are eligible to receive up to £20,000 each.
On February 28, Sunderland CCG bosses heard the scheme had attracted another 10 GPs to work in Sunderland since April 2018.
Strategic primary care workforce lead at the CCG, Jacquie Lambie, said the scheme has had a real impact.
“Some might argue that it’s not the most effective way of doing it but we do have evidence to say that it has been a deciding factor in them actually coming to work here,” she said.
Figures were revealed at Sunderland CCG’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee at Bede Tower as part of an update on plans to boost general practices.
According to a report, the scheme is forecast to spend more than £170,000 in 2018/19.
This compares to £302,214 the previous year, 2017/18, when 19 recruits accessed the ‘golden hellos’.
Speaking after the meeting, she said: “With a national shortage of qualified staff, it’s vital that we continue to recruit well-qualified GPs to ensure local services are in a strong position for the future.
“Sunderland is a fantastic place to live and work, and we want newly-qualified GPs to see just how much our area has to offer and become part of our community.
“It’s one of a number of initiatives which can help attract new GPs to the city.
“The first 50 students are due to start the GP training scheme at Sunderland University’s new medical school in September, and many of them may choose to put down roots in the area.”
So far, the GP Strategy 2016-2021 has seen success with extra training programmes for nurses, doctors and health care assistants and “mentorship bursaries” for nurses.
Out of 16 medics involved in the GP Career Start scheme – supporting recently qualified GPs into post – six have remained in Sunderland and accessed the ‘golden hellos’ scheme.
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
Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service