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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New measures help GPs to work in Wales

A new package of measures being announced today will make it easier for GPs to work in Wales, Health and Social Services Minister, Mark Drakeford has said.
These arrangements will make it easier for GPs who have previously worked in Wales to return to practice following a career break or a period of working outside the UK.
It will also support doctors who have qualified outside the UK and choose to work in Wales.
The package of measures includes a more targeted assessment of an individual’s skills, to identify those who can safely enter the workforce with minimum support or who require greater assistance.

Arrangements will also be put in place for overseas applicants to undertake their initial interview and assessment before they arrive in Wales, enabling tailored support for their return to practice to be agreed in advance.

It is also intended that the Medical Performers Lists in Wales be amended to provide GPs who wish to work outside the UK the opportunity to remain on the list for a maximum of five years.

This would remove the current obligation for all GPs who previously practiced within the Welsh health system to undertake the induction and refresher scheme on their return.

This approach will be underpinned by a requirement for the doctor to provide evidence of continuous professional development, clinical work and reflective practice.

Prospective returners to the GP workforce will continue to receive financial support for up to six months, depending on the clinical support required.

The Welsh Government will work with key stakeholders in Wales to take forward these changes.

Mark Drakeford said: “The changes I’m announcing today will make it easier to recruit new doctors to work in Wales and for GPs who want to return to work in Wales to do so. It also has the potential to reduce costs for those seeking to return.

“GPs, like many others, may decide to take career breaks for a number of reasons. Making it as easy as possible for them to return to work in Wales, while ensuring there are safeguards in place to ensure patient safety, is one of the ways we can increase the numbers of GPs required to provide care for patients in Wales.

“I recognise there are challenges in GP recruitment and retention in some parts of Wales, as there are elsewhere. We continue to work closely with NHS organisations to attract the best medical talent but we are operating in an extremely tough global market where many countries across Europe are experiencing shortages.

“The reforms we are making to Wales’ primary care service will help ensure that young GPs coming into practice have a wider range of options available to them, including opportunities to become involved in research and teaching in Wales.”

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