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Funding boost to recruit more GPs in south east London

NHS Greenwich CCG, in partnership with Bromley, Bexley and Lewisham CCG's have successfully secured a share of over £1.5 million funding from NHS England to recruit GPs from overseas.

The joint bid across four south east London boroughs will see 45 GPs coming into four CCGs' local GP system over the next twelve months. It is hoped that the recruitment boost will help improve patient access to GP services across south east London.

The funding has been provided as part of NHS England's International GP Recruitment Programme, designed to attract at least 2,000 appropriately trained and
qualified GPs from overseas over the next three years. While GP training places are increasing year on year and many GPs are returning to practice, more of them are retiring and the number of GPs is not increasing fast enough.

Dr Ellen Wright, local GP and Chair of NHS Greenwich CCG said: "We are delighted to be receiving funding for the international GP recruitment scheme. In Greenwich, like other parts of the country, we know there is a shortage of GPs. This extra funding will result in more GPs in the south east London area, and is good news for both local people and local GP practices.

"The financial boost will support our practices to manage the increasing demand for GP services – and ease the current pressures facing local GPs."

ecruitment will target GPs who have qualified in the European Economic Area (EEA) and UK citizens returning from overseas. Systems are in place to ensure that all doctors recruited deliver safe, high quality care, including good English language skills. In Greenwich, practices have already overwhelmingly expressed their interest in taking part in the scheme. 

here are also plans to provide on-going support and development for the new GPs, to provide a smooth transition and help retain them in the south east London area. 

o find out more about the national scheme, visit the NHS England website.