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Recruitment drive after Redbridge doctor shortage

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 October 2018 | UPDATED: 07:58 03 October 2018

Dr Naomi Oliver  trained lin the borough and is happy to stay. Picture: RedbridgeCCG

Dr Naomi Oliver trained lin the borough and is happy to stay. Picture: RedbridgeCCG

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Attracting and retaining GPs in Redbridge has been a major issue of concern but a new recruitment drive has successfully boosted numbers in the borough.

Dr Naomi Oliver has joined the team at Fulwell Cross Medical Centre in Barkingside as part of a groundbreaking GP recruitment drive in Redbridge.Picture: Redbridge CCGDr Naomi Oliver has joined the team at Fulwell Cross Medical Centre in Barkingside as part of a groundbreaking GP recruitment drive in Redbridge.Picture: Redbridge CCG

Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said that newly-trained family doctors have already started work in local surgeries following a ground-breaking scheme that helps develop specialist medical skills.

Dr Naomi Oliver, 30, has joined the team at Fullwell Cross Medical Centre, Tomswood Hill, Barkingside – the practice where she trained.

She will also be doing two medical education sessions a week, helping to train other new GPs through Queen Mary University of London.

“It’s been a fantastic opportunity to start my career as a GP,” she said.

Dr Naomi Oliver  trained lin the borough and is happy to stay. Picture: RedbridgeCCGDr Naomi Oliver trained lin the borough and is happy to stay. Picture: RedbridgeCCG

“The medical education sessions mean the job is much more than being a trainee GP, which is great for me as I can build my specialist skills in an area I’m passionate about while helping the practice and its patients.

“The fact that I’ve been able to stay in Redbridge, working at the practice where I trained, is a real bonus. Everyone has been very welcoming and supportive – colleagues and patients.”

To combat a national problem with the retention of GPs, local NHS commissioners and healthcare organisations joined forces with Health Education England (HEE) to consider how trainee GPs undergoing their medical training locally could be encouraged to stay in the area once qualified.

A programme was developed which offered trainees a permanent job, mentoring and weekly sessions in a chosen specialist area.

GPs coming to the end of their training were invited to a careers speed dating event to speak to local surgeries offering jobs, with hospital and community trusts providing the specialist sessions, funding support and supervision.

This enabled them to identify and apply for the role that best matched their personal career interests.

Seven new GPs accepted offers from surgeries in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge (BHR) where they are all working between four and seven sessions a week.

Dr Anil Mehta, chairman of Redbridge CCG, said: “We’re delighted to have recruited these young doctors to work alongside their more experienced colleagues.

“It won’t solve all our issues with waits for appointments and the number of GPs retiring, but it shows we can attract good young doctors to this area if we make the job attractive.

“It’s a great example of what can be achieved through organisations working together.”

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