What Is the Refugee Recruitment Scheme and How Will It Affect GPs?

It might only be March, but several plans have already been announced to help ease pressures on the NHS. Amidst talk of triage centres, additional funding and other help being promised to GPs, there may finally be an end in sight to staff shortages in our healthcare system. Meanwhile, a new refugee recruitment scheme is being trialled, pledging to put skilled migrant doctors into UK roles. Could the scheme be a lifeline for GP practices in England?

What is the refugee recruitment scheme?

The refugee recruitment scheme will help doctors, nurses and other medical staff who have had to flee their countries enter medical centres across the UK. The scheme is currently being trialled in Birmingham, and has so far seen 14 doctors recruited into the area.

Through the scheme, skilled medical workers with refugee status are being given English language lessons and work experience to help them develop the skills they need. The scheme has so far been a success,with over 200 participants registered so far.

How will it impact GPs?

The refugee recruitment scheme aims to equip skilled migrant workers with the qualifications they need to work in the UK. Instead of health workers with clinical experience working in jobs where their skills and experience aren’t being used, the scheme can help bring them into the NHS, where there is a shortage of GPs and other medical staff. For many, returning to practice was inconceivable, but they can now continue their careers thanks to the scheme

An increase in GP numbers is desperately needed, and while more funding is on the way for general practice, the refugee recruitment scheme could provide a more cost-effective way of meeting demands on the NHS. The cost of training a doctor in the UK can be up to £250,000, while the cost of training someone through the scheme is around £5,000. The scheme offers many benefits to the NHS and to GPs but also benefits the refugees who are able to re-enter the medical profession.

Despite the refugee recruitment scheme and the NHS Long Term Plan, the current situation faced by GPs continues to be precarious. The solutions for minimising GP stress could take a long time to come into force. These solutions will surely provide benefits in the future, but perhaps not come in soon enough for GPs who are already facing the pressure.

What’s the solution?

Rather than leaving the NHS, there are plenty of other solutions for flexible GP work, including working out-of-hours. Out-of-hours GP work offers a vast change of pace compared to a practice role. The focus on triage means there is less paperwork and ongoing patient and practice issues to handle during a shift.

Providing flexibility and the chance to try something new with a close-knit team, out-of-hours working has many benefits for GPs. If you’re interested in taking on a more flexible role, take a look at the current out of hours vacancies in East Berkshire and apply today.