Nuffield Trust response to rural GP payment announcement

The Nuffield Trust's Senior Policy Fellow Rebecca Rosen responds to the Health Secretary’s announcement of extra payments for GP recruits in rural areas.

Press Release

Published: 12/10/2017

Responding to the Health Secretary’s announcement of extra payments for GP recruits in rural areas, Nuffield Trust Senior Policy Fellow Rebecca Rosen said:

“With General Practice under immense pressure and some areas of the country struggling to recruit any family doctors at all, this is a positive and much-needed boost to health care in rural areas. But attracting trainees is only half the battle: the NHS is struggling to hang on to qualified GPs, with surveys showing 56% plan to retire or leave practice early. Many trainees also drop out when they finish. Like many areas of the NHS, pressure of work, low morale and the impact of staff shortages is making it harder and harder to keep family doctors in practice. So the real test for this policy will be in ensuring trainee GPs tempted to work in these rural areas will stay.”

Notes to editors

  • Jeremy Hunt is to announce tomorrow measures for trainee GPs to receive a £20,000 “golden hello” to work in parts of the country struggling to recruit.
  • A survey by ComRes in 2015 showed that 56% of GPs plan to leave the profession or retire early before they are 60. It can be read here.