This website places cookies on your device to help us improve our service to you. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies statement.

Skip to page content


More GPs recruited for hard-to-fill posts


Results from the latest GP trainee recruitment round show that 15 junior doctors have been recruited to ‘hard-to-fill’ posts, out of a total of 37 trainees altogether.

This year, a total of 276 new trainee GPs have taken up or accepted a post in Scotland – a 15 per cent increase on 2015.

Professor Stewart Irvine, NHS Education for Scotland (NES) Medical Director said:

"We recruit for junior doctors to train as GPs at several points in the year, and prior to our recent recruitment exercise, over 90% of our existing 1082 GP training posts were filled. In this recruitment round, we have highlighted the benefits of living and working as a GP in Scotland, including the excellent training and lifestyle that is on offer. Our supportive and flexible approach offers trainees exceptional scope for personal development and trainee surveys rank Scotland GP training highly.

"We have also been able to offer £20,000 bursaries for those trainees who take up posts in hard to fill locations, such as remote and rural areas.

"The most recent round, which ran from August onwards, has just concluded. We have accepted 37 more doctors into Scottish training programmes, and who will start training in February. This includes 15 who will take up posts in hard to fill locations, many of which have lain vacant for some time.

"We will very shortly begin recruitment for doctors to begin training next August, and will continue to work with our partner organisations across Scotland to improve the attractiveness of our programmes and promote Scotland as an excellent training destination."

In addition to our formal recruitment activity, NES carries out a range of activities to attract junior doctors and qualified GPs to work in Scotland.

These include:

  • Targetted Facebook advertising to particular groups
  • Supporting social media promotions
  • Promotional videos and case studies about the benefits of training and working in Scotland
  • Promoting Scotland as a training destination in many countries, such as the EU, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA
  • A GP Returners programme for qualified GPs who have been out of the profession or working in other countries.
  • Making it easier for non-EU doctors to work in NHSScotland by providing visa sponsorship and monitoring

Our latest recruitment video reached over 7,000 English Foundation Medical Students, over 2,500 Wales and Northern Ireland Medical Students and over 1,600 from Malta.


Reference: PR2016-028

Further Information From
Mary-Jo O’Brien, Corporate Communications Manager, tel. 0131 656 3213 email

Note to Editors
NHS Education for Scotland (NES) is a national special health board working to provide education, training and workforce development for those who work in and with NHSScotland. At any time this means NES is responsible for over 6,500 trainee healthcare professionals and also supports the recruitment of professionals into Scotland.

NHSScotland, and NES as a part of this, adheres to the WHO Code of Practice on recruiting medical staff from overseas. We therefore do not target countries on the WHO list, such as developing nations.

Doctors who require a visa to work in the UK are offered posts after all applicants who are eligible to work in the UK have accepted posts. All posts are subject to the Resident Labour Market Test, which requires a post to be advertised appropriately and widely in the UK, and not be filled by anyone ineligible to work in the UK.