NHS Highland has denied that its attempts to recruit GPs were ‘poaching’ them from the south of the border, claiming it just wanted to stop them from leaving the UK.
The health board is undertaking a new recruitment campaign which involves advertising in Leeds and Liverpool across public transport and billboards in hopes of attracting more doctors.
NHS Highland’s remote and rural programme manager Martine Scott, told the Highland Council’s Lochabar area committee that the campaign is proving to be successful.
She stated: ‘We are trying to promote the work/life balance in remote and rural areas as a selling point. It’s a beautiful area of the country and maybe many people don’t know that and choose to move abroad instead.
We’ve been accused of poaching GPs from England, but that’s not necessarily the case. We’d rather keep them in the UK than allow them to go to places like New Zealand and Australia.’
Ms Scott also said, ‘It’s early days yet. We’re about half way through our campaign, which has another two weeks to run, but we have seen quite a bit of interest in West Lochaber. We’ve had a lot of expressions of interest in GP posts and some other posts.’
She explained the main problem doctors have is whether their spouse will relocate and whether suitable accommodation is available.