GPs shunning Northamptonshire because they do not want to live in the county, NHS says

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GP numbers are falling in Northamptonshire partly because people do not want to live in the county, the NHS has said.

The reason is contained in a list generated by bosses at NHS Nene to explain why recruitment and retention of family doctors is so poor.

The problem is so bad that Northamptonshire needs more than 180 new GPs in the next five years.

Dr Jonathan Ireland, a GP and member of the independent Local Medical Committee, said the report may refer to the fact that there is no university teaching school in Northamptonshire, which often plays a part keeping doctors in the surrounding area.

Dr Ireland said: “Anecdotally, a teaching school is a factor.

“Because doctors in training are not offered accommodation at hospitals as they used to be, they often buy houses instead.

“It means that by the time they are trained, they have roots in the area near the teaching school and are therefore less likely to move than a few years ago.”

Location of training places in decided by the Government, with new training centres set up in Norwich and South West of England in recent years.

However there are no plans to establish anything similar in Northamptonshire.

Other reasons cited by GPs for their low numbers include stress from increased workloads leading to early retirements and reduced levels of pay compared to previous years.

Mr Ireland said: “It’s a pity that doctors concentrate on these negative issues rather than focus on the core job, which is very rewarding and enjoyable.”

NHS Nene has been approached for a comment.