NEIL HAMILTON, MS for Mid & West Wales and Leader of UKIP Wales, has welcomed news of the continued increase in recruiting GP trainees in Wales.
Mr Hamilton, a member of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs committee, has welcomed the latest figures which show a record number have taken up training this year.
He said: “I am delighted to hear about the significant increase in numbers taking up the GP training places as this area has been woefully neglected over the years.
“Everybody knows that here is Wales we have a shortage of GPs and anything which can be done to persuade more people to take up this profession should be encouraged.
“I understand a record 200 GP trainees have been recruited for 2020 following on from 186 the previous year which is very encouraging. Clearly there is a growing demand and I am delighted to see more people taking up the profession n Wales.
“There is no doubt the ongoing campaign is paying dividends and I hope the Welsh Government continues to offer initiatives to attract more doctors especially to the rural areas.
“As the NHS in Wales continues to struggle, in particular with coronavirus but also with everything else it has to cope with, it is more important than ever we ensure resources are there to help and encourage training in this area. Mid & West Wales needs these extra GPs as soon as possible.”
The increase in numbers also highlights the success of the national and international marketing campaign, Train Work Live, in supporting Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) to attract additional GP trainees to Wales.
The campaign continues to be supported by two incentive schemes for GP training; a targeted incentive of £20,000 operating in areas of mid, north and west Wales, and a universal incentive to cover examination fees. Both incentives schemes have been extended for a further year, covering all three recruitment rounds in 2021.
GP training in Wales is further enhanced by a new model of GP specialty training, introduced by HEIW, whereby trainees now spend 12 months in hospital based posts and 24 months in general practice, a shift from 18 months in hospitals posts and 18 months in general practice.
The revised model of GP training was initially rolled out to GP Training Schemes in Bangor, Dyffryn Clwyd, Wrexham, Cardiff and Gwent from August 2019 and is now operating as part ofsix other GP Training Schemes across Wales.
Since launch in September 2019 GPWales has advertised 525 roles in general practices across all parts of Wales with over 46,000 unique users visiting the site from across the UK and beyond.
The All Wales Locum Register has been an overwhelming success, which has now been further enhanced by the development of Locum Hub Wales and as of October 23 2020, there were 1,330 GP locums, including registrars, now registered, supporting locums and general practices to find suitable, effective and streamlined solutions for their locum needs.
The Wales National Workforce Reporting System now provides an accurate, interactive workforce intelligence tool supporting GP practices and health boards to better understand the primary care workforce demographic in Wales and so undertake more effective workforce planning.