A BROMSGROVE doctor is the face of a new NHS campaign to inspire more people to join general practice.
Dr Duncan Shrewsbury, a 29-year-old PhD student and lecturer at Worcester University, is a part-time GP at Davenal House Surgery in Bromsgrove.
The campaign – There’s Nothing General About General Practice – has been designed to promote the benefits of working as a GP.
Dr Shrewsbury said: “General Practice doesn’t always appear to be the obvious choice because the majority of your time is spent in hospital-based specialities so these are at the forefront of your mind.”
Dr Shrewsbury grew up in Evesham, completed medical training at the University of Birmingham and has been a qualified doctor for just over five years.
According to research by GP publication Pulse, applications for 2016 GP training have slumped by five per cent on last year.
Dr Shrewsbury said: “The fact the NHS as a whole in this country receives less financial support from the Government as a percentage of the GDP than any other health system in the western world – with the exception of Italy, which is partly privatised – is one reason.
“Although there are lots of ways in which the NHS can improve, it still delivers one of the most efficient health services for patients.
“We’re performing well compared to the global standard, but we’re not terribly well supported.
“And when you’ve trained for years to help people get better, it can sometimes become quite emotionally draining and stressful to find yourself in a system where your hardest isn’t always enough.”
Dr Shrewsbury added the main concern at the moment was fewer people returning to practice from abroad.
“I’m not too sure there’s actually the evidence to suggest that, but there’s certainly an issue with morale amongst junior doctors.”
Indeed, NHS officials have already planned to fly out to Australia at the end of this month to persuade doctors to return to the UK.
Dr Shrewsbury added: “If you look at the population as a whole, we actually need more doctors and nurses across the board, and that’s not something that’s being shouted terribly loud, especially by the Government because of course they’d end up having to pay for it – and that’s not something they’re looking at right now.”
He added: “In Bromsgrove specifically, there’s quite a good fill rate for GP posts after training and that’s partly to do with the fact it’s a really lovely area.
“Some of the best things I have found about this job is you develop a relationship with an individual, a family, a whole community.
“You see them get poorly – but you see them get better, and you see them develop and grow – and that’s incredibly rewarding.
“To become somebody’s doctor and have that trust and faith put in you is a privilege and very rewarding and unique to general practice.”