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Recruiting GPs to Vulnerable Practices

Challenge

In June 2016 NECS was awarded the contract to provide recruitment and marketing support to identified GP practices in the Northern Region to fill their long standing GP vacancies. The intention of the contract was that such vacancies should be targeted towards members of the Inductions and Refresher Scheme.

NHS England operated a pilot targeted investment scheme to support GP Practices that had been unable to fill vacancies for 12 months or more. The pilot was aimed specifically at doctors on the Induction and Refresher (I&R) scheme, and offered relocation support and additional training for doctors from that scheme who joined one of the pilot practices. Recruiting GPs to Vulnerable Practices

Tasks

A key first task was to meet with each practice participating in the pilot to understand the issues faced, and the potential barriers to successful recruitment. These meetings also allowed NECS to build relationships with the leads for the pilot in the practice and to provide one-to-one advice on actions available to the practice to enhance their existing recruitment practices.

Contact was maintained with the pilot practices, continuing to support them and offer advice and guidance.

A bespoke recruitment website was developed, providing a single place to signpost I&R doctors to. The website offered material on the different areas in the North, and information on each practice. Communications were sent to the I&R scheme participants (via NHSE/ HEE) to signpost them to the website, and so encourage the target group to apply for the available vacancies.

Links were maintained with each practice, and they were encouraged and supported to review their offering and communication with candidates. This included identifying the key attractions their practice would hold for prospective GPs.

A key element throughout the project was understanding that each Practice was different, and potentially had different strengths which could be used to attract a suitable GP.

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A key element throughout the project was understanding that each Practice was different, and potentially had different strengths which could be used to attract a suitable GP.

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Results

  • The Location North website was produced, and populated with details of the regions across the North and vacancy information for each practice.
  • Each practice had a one to one discussion with an HR professional to discuss the support available to them, and advice and guidance on how to enhance their existing recruitment processes
  • Each practice was contacted regularly to offer ongoing support and guidance with their recruitment practices, and were supported to produce Job Descriptions and Person Specifications for their GP vacancy.
  • A promotional flyer was issued to I&R scheme members to advertise the Location North website, and to provide a brief overview of the Northern region and the opportunities available
  • Two of the pilot practices successfully recruited GPs during the life of the project, with other practices receiving applications from potentially suitable GPs

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