A health service scheme to entice GPs from abroad to work in England has signed up only 100, well short of the 600 who were promised by April.
NHS England launched the initiative, at a cost of £100 million, in August, intending that 2,000 to 3,000 doctors should join the service from overseas by 2020. GPs said waiting times for appointments would increase if the target was missed.
Speaking to the GP magazine Pulse, Dr Arvind Madan, national director for primary care, said at the time: “By April 2018, we are aiming to have appointed 600 GPs who will be available to practices.”
An NHS England spokesman said in clarification: “The 600 appointed means they’ll be in the system but not necessarily at their desk in practices as they will have to move and be sorting out logistics etc.” Papers presented this week to the NHS England board said recruiters were “reporting that a total of 100 GPs are expected to be recruited by March 31”.