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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-03563: David Stewart (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 6 October 2016

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-03118 by Shona Robison on 6 October 2016, whether it will provide the information that was requested regarding the reason that no places have been allocated for newly trained GPs under its golden hello scheme to NHS Shetland and Orkney, and whether it will confirm for what reason no places were allocated to NHS Western Isles.

Answered by: Shona Robison 3 November 2016

The financial incentive available for certain GP trainee posts is described as the Scottish Targeted Bursary Scheme; golden hello payments relate to recruitment of trained GPs.

It is NHS Education for Scotland (NES) which manages GMC approved training programmes, and it is important to clarify that trainees are not actually placed within individual Boards but to training programmes which involve placements in several NHS Boards to ensure that they gain the appropriate breadth of clinical experiences required to fulfil the GMC’s educational requirements within the general practice training curricula. This includes the availability of Clinical and Educational Supervisors.

In developing this additional recruitment initiative, and with a view to maximising its chances of success, NES had to have regard to the GMC’s educational requirements, ensure these placements would be educationally attractive to prospective trainees for the 3-year duration, and take account of the smaller size of hospitals/practices, particularly within the Island Boards. Each of the additional posts are in programmes which include rotations in previously hard to recruit to GP training practices.

Two bursary eligible places were allocated to the Caledonian programme which, via rotations in different hospitals/surgeries, mainly covers the Highlands and Islands. Of the two posts recruited for the Caledonian Programme, one is centred around Raigmore Hospital in Inverness and the local Culloden Practice. The details of the second are still being finalised, but will comprise hospital-based training and placement within the Portree GP Practice.

In addition to the Caledonian Programme, NES also operates the GP Rural Track programme, which provides trainees with an opportunity to undertake GPST in Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles. There are rotations in Orkney and Shetland as well as Fort William, Oban, Western Isles and Caithness. The number of trainees currently placed through this rural focused programme, are: One in Orkney, Six in Shetland and Five in the Western Isles.