Universities and primary care organisations working together to recruit GPs: a qualitative evaluation of the Enfield clinical teaching fellow programme
Jones, M.M.; Bashir, N.; Purushotham, N.; Friel, R.; Rosenthal, J.
Bjgp Open 2(1): Bjgpopen 18x101361
ISSN/ISBN: 2398-3795 PMID: 30564703 Accession: 066020132
General practice recruitment is in difficulty in the UK as many experienced GPs retire or reduce their commitment. The numbers of junior doctors choosing to specialise in the discipline is also falling, leading to primary care workforce issues particularly in 'hard to serve' areas. To evaluate an academic service collaboration on GP recruitment between a primary care organisation (PCO), Enfield CCG, and a university, University College London (UCL). Evaluation of an academic service collaboration in the Enfield CCG area of north east London. An action research method utilising qualitative methodology was used to evaluate a local service intervention, undertaken by the participants themselves. The qualitative data were analysed by one researcher but themes were agreed by the whole team. Enfield CCG, an NHS PCO, funded a collaboration with UCL to employ five GPs as clinical teaching fellows to work in Enfield, to increase patients' access, to provide input to CCG development projects, and to provide undergraduate medical student teaching in practice. Five teaching fellows were employed for ≤2 years and provided 18 266 extra appointments, engaged with development projects, and delivered local undergraduate teaching. The themes identified by stakeholders were the challenges of these organisations working together, recruiting GPs to an underserved area, and perceptions of the model's value for money. The evaluation showed that the collaboration of an NHS PCO and a higher education institution can work, and the prestige of being associated with a universty and clinical variety ensured GP recruitment in an area that had previously struggled. However, the project's costs were high, which affected perceptions of its value.