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Health / Plenty of GPs ‘rediscovering the joy’ as recruitment project pays off

A NEW recruitment scheme aimed at attracting GPs to work in the north of Scotland on short-term contracts is continuing to provide positive results.

NHS Shetland's human resources director Lorraine Hall.NHS Shetland’s human resources director Lorraine Hall.

NHS Shetland human resources director Lorraine Hall said that by the end of October 27 GPs had been recruited to cover gaps in Scotland’s four northern health boards.

In November a further five GPs were brought in through the ‘Rediscover the Joy’ scheme, Hall told a meeting of the NHS Shetland board on Tuesday.

The scheme began earlier this year between Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative and NHS Shetland, Orkney, Western Isles and Highland.

The programme offers contracts for 12 to 18 weeks per year or longer, and it aims to attract retiring GPs wanting to continue providing their skills and experience to the NHS, or doctors working abroad who wish to retain their license to practice.

With long-held difficulties in recruiting to GP posts in rural areas like Shetland which leads to costly spends on locum agency staff, Rediscover the Joy aims to provide high quality GP support either by covering leave or by filling vacancies with a small team of GPs working in rotation.

It has a human resources hub based in Shetland dedicated to recruiting GPs and building “supportive working relationships” between them and rural practices.

Hall said that locally the scheme is providing cover at the moment for Unst, Brae and Whalsay, while it also led to a full-time vacancy being filled in Yell.

The NHS has also just completed the interview round for Scalloway.

“That’s all really good news,” Hall said.