If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume you’re happy to receive all cookies from the BMA website. Find out more about cookies
When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalised web experience.
Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms.
You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.
These cookies are required
These cookies allow us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information we collect is anonymous unless you actively provide personal information to us.
If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.
These cookies allow a website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you're in) and tailor the website to provide enhanced features and content for you.
For example, they can be used to remember certain log-in details, changes you've made to text size, font and other parts of pages that you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you've asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. These cookies may be used to ensure that all our services and communications are relevant to you. The information these cookies collect cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.
Without these cookies, a website cannot remember choices you've previously made or personalise your browsing experience meaning you would have to reset these for every visit. In addition, some functionality may not be available if this category is switched off.
Our websites sometimes integrate with other companies’ sites. For example, we integrate with social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, to make it easier for you to share what you have read. These sites place their own cookies on your browser as a result of us including their icons and ‘like’ or ‘share’ buttons on our sites.
As Chair of the General Practitioners Committee Wales, I received a letter from the Minister for Health and Social Services, Professor Mark Drakeford, in which he detailed that he has given the Wales Deanery the flexibility to use funding from unfilled GP training spaces to support GP returners to practice in Wales.
Professor Drakeford has outlined that in 2015/16 and future years, up to £150k from unfilled GP training places can be used to support additional numbers of GP returners to practice in Wales. For me, this is welcome news in creating a robust workforce in Wales and is in addition to the five returners places already funded. We welcome any development that enables GPs to return to the workforce, and these additional places — together with the revisions of the returnee scheme — will do that.
The announcement comes as, each year, funding to support 136 GP training places across Wales is provided to the Wales Deanery. Despite best recruitment efforts, there have been a number of vacancies remaining in recent years. This new flexibility should certainly have a positive impact in attracting talent to Wales, allowing flexibility in how funding is used, and enabling Health Boards and local GP practices to adapt to their needs.
In the same letter, Professor Drakeford also confirmed funding for a number of post-certificate of completion of training GP fellowships across Wales. In 2015/16, three one-year programmes will be offered, along with three two-year programmes. Following the evaluation of the initial one-year programmes, a further three one-year programmes will be offered in 2016/17.
His letter details that these schemes will be targeted at GPs within three years of achieving their certificate of completion of training. Fellows will be expected to complete a normal workload for 60% of the working week in the host GP practice following a short induction process, with the remaining 40% of the week being a developmental opportunity for each individual participating in the scheme. He continued, stating that the Wales Deanery will work with Health Boards and GP practices to ensure local population needs are at the heart of these programmes.
It’s certainly a positive step that funding from unfilled GP training places can now be utilised for GP returners to practice in Wales. In my view, it’s a win, win situation, whereby the end result will either mean more GP returners coming to Wales or GP training places in Wales being filled.
This is one of a range of solutions we have been pushing for. It’s a measure that looks to address workforce issues in a manner than can have constructive effects locally; improving staffing levels amongst GPs, which will have a wider impact on practising GPs, and I believe it will have a positive impact on future GP recruitment in Wales.