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Doctors leaders welcome career recommendations

JONES: Recruitment and retention was a major concern affecting NHS Wales' ability to provide the best care for patients

Doctors leaders have welcomed several recommendations to boost the number of people choosing medicine as a career and to train in Wales.

The National Assembly for Wales' health, social care and sport committee has said there is a clear need to increase the number of students from Wales securing places at Welsh medical schools.

The committee has been examining medical recruitment and what can be done to fill vacancies in the NHS in Wales.

Assembly Members have made 16 recommendations for the Welsh Government and Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething.

These include boosting undergraduate medical training places overall, and more specifically in north Wales, and addressing problems with medical training in rural areas.

The committee also recommended annual reviews of the impact of the GP Incentive Scheme – which has so far seen an increase in the number of trainee GPs – and a focus on long-term workforce planning.

BMA Welsh GPs committee chair Charlotte Jones said recruitment and retention was a major concern affecting NHS Wales' ability to provide the best care for patients.

She said: 'BMA Cymru Wales has previously highlighted concerns that recruitment challenges are often more acute in more rural parts of Wales, therefore the committee’s call to develop an action plan for rural and medical training and education is also to be welcomed.

'Early indications of the GP Incentive Scheme are positive, with a 91 per cent fill rate in Wales. It makes sense that a review takes place and we look forward to receiving annual updates, along with progressing on initiatives to retain the current GP workforce.

'The committee’s recommendation for Welsh Government to focus on robust, long-term workforce planning comes after previous calls from BMA Cymru Wales, suggesting there should be a whole-system strategic approach to workforce planning, working with key healthcare stakeholders.

BMA Cymru Wales is eager to be a part of this process, ensuring a sustainable Welsh NHS for doctors and patients across the country.'

Social care and sport committee chair and AM Dai Lloyd said: 'There are a number of factors that influence the recruitment and retention of medical staff.

'We heard about the importance of a good work/life balance for staff and their families, including good access to schools, communities, social life and stability of trainee placements.

'We welcome the Welsh Government’s commitment to attract and train more healthcare professionals in Wales, particularly the recent ‘Train. Work. Live.’ campaign, which promotes the broader concept of what NHS Wales and Wales as a country has to offer.

'However, there is still further work to be done to address the wide range of factors that could attract new medical staff to Wales and retain the existing workforce.'
 

 

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