latest health care news


‘Golden hello’ expansion will not solve GP crisis, warns BMA

Health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has announced plans to expand the ‘golden hello’ scheme in an attempt to recruit more GPs to rural areas.

Through the scheme, last year over 100 trainee GPs received a one-off payment of £20,000 in order to entice them into rural clinics struggling to recruit talented staff.

Speaking at the RCGP conference in Liverpool today, Hunt announced that the scheme will be extended to 200 trainees from next year if they start their careers in one of the 20 areas across England that have been identified as struggling to recruit.

The GP shortage in the UK is an ongoing problem, with patients unable to make an appointment with their GP or practice nurse on 47.5 million occasions last year.

Chief executive of the Rural Services Network, Graham Briggs, has welcomed the initiative: “It is vital that we encourage more GPs to work in rural areas and this government initiative will of some way to doing that.”

However, the BMA is less optimistic. Dr. Richard Vautrey, BMA committee chair, has warned that a ‘golden hello’ is not enough: “These proposals do appear to acknowledge the specific problems facing rural areas in England.

“But ‘golden hellos’ are not a new idea and unlikely to solve the overall workforce crisis given we are failing badly to train enough GPs to meet current demands.

“There is already an incentive programme for ‘hard to recruit areas’ that has been operating since 2016 and it is not clear whether this new announcement, which comes without any real details, is any different from that scheme.”

He also cautioned that the government does not appear to be on on track to meet its target of 5,000 extra GPs by 2020, and argued that a long term plan is needed.

Nuffield Trust senior policy fellow, Rebecca Rosen, has advised that attracting trainees is “only half the battle.”

She warned work pressure, low morale and staff shortages are making it harder to retain GPs: “The NHS is struggling to hang on to qualified GPs, with surveys showing 56% plan to retire or leave practice early,” she stated. “Many trainees also drop out when they finish.”


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News


Data saves lives

14/02/2018Data saves lives

Kuldeep Sohal, programme manager at Connected Yorkshire, part of Connected ... more >
Celebrating 75 years of healthcare

14/02/2018Celebrating 75 years of healthcare

Julian Amey, chief executive of the Institute of Healthcare Engineering &am... more >


Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s... more >
681 149x260 NHE Subscribe button

the scalpel's daily blog

International Women’s Day: time for change in gender pay

08/03/2018International Women’s Day: time for change in gender pay

Dean Royles, director of human resources and organisational development at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, analyses the latest gender pay gap report released by trusts in ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar


March 2018

mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
26 27 28 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >