Doctors to get £20,000 'golden hello' to work in rural areas
The Government is to offer new GPs a £20,000 payment if they choose to work in areas struggling to recruit doctors.
The new scheme is designed to boost recruitment in rural and coastal areas where there is a shortage of NHS staff.
The proposals will cost around £4m and initially be on offer to 200 recent graduates starting in 2018.
Jeremy Hunt will also set out plans later to offer more flexible working arrangements for older doctors to encourage them to hold off on retirement.
And there will be a special effort to recruit more GPs from abroad as the Government tries to recruit an extra 5,000 family doctors by 2020.
The Health Secretary will tell the Royal College of GPs' conference in Liverpool: "By introducing targeted support for vulnerable areas and tackling head-on critical issues such as higher indemnity fees and the recruitment and retention of more doctors, we can strengthen and secure general practice for the future."
But the chair of the British Medical Association's GP Committee, Dr Richard Vautrey, warned that the proposals would not tackle a serious staffing shortfall.
"General practice is facing unprecedented pressure from rising workload, stagnating budgets and a workforce crisis," he said.
"'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."