We spoke to Andrew Powell, assistant director of primary care at Powys Teaching Health Board. He told us why Powys in mid-Wales is a great place for GPs to build their career. A strong ethos of teamwork, flexible working options amidst beautiful countryside and more - could this be a life changing career choice for you?
Andrew Powell: "Powys has great opportunities for GPs"
Why would a GP want to work with Powys Teaching Health Board?
Powys Teaching Health Board is amongst the leaders when it comes to primary care and we are proud of our strong ethos of teamwork. Our GPs get excellent professional development opportunities including protected learning time sessions for themselves and their staff. Powys is also one of the nicest parts of the country. It has miles and miles of rolling hills and beautiful countryside. Yet it is close to major cities like Cardiff, Swansea, Bristol, Birmingham and Chester.
What roles are you recruiting for?
A number of the 17 medical practices we work with are recruiting for GP roles in Powys – either as partner GPs or salaried GPs. They are totally flexible as to whether they are full-time, part-time or job-share appointments. The current GP jobs are located in the picturesque rural towns of Llanidloes, Machynlleth, Knighton, Newtown and Montgomery in Powys, mid-Wales.
What does a GP in Powys typically do?
The job of a GP in Powys can be challenging but never boring. A typical day can involve community hospital work and running the virtual ward which supports people in their own homes. You will also have the opportunity to participate in GP clusters to help identify patients’ needs and develop services to meet those needs.
What career challenges are health professionals currently facing?
Many GPs in Powys are likely to retire in the next few years. This presents some exciting opportunities for new GPs coming to the area. Many of the county’s population live far away from a district general hospital, so there’s a strong desire to transfer as many services as possible into the county, where safe to do so, both at community hospital and primary care level. This also involves keeping patients out of hospital unless they have a clinical need to be there. By far the greater part of the county is now covered by a virtual ward service which involves GPs and other primary and community care professionals working together to support more people in their own homes.
What other exciting projects is the Board working on?
We are bringing in physician associates to support GPs with their day-to-day workload and free up their time to focus on tasks that only they as GPs can perform. In one part of the county, all the medical practices have come together to form a community interest company which allows GPs to undertake some of their backroom tasks (document scanning for example) more efficiently. It also creates a platform that enables them to undertake a wider range of services, such as enhanced levels of chronic conditions management.
What changes do you expect to happen to jobs in the health industry in the next year?
Team working will continue to develop as it has for the past few years. The role of the GP will remain pivotal, but the range of professions working around the GP and what each of them contribute will continue to evolve and develop. This will be essential in an environment where the needs of an ageing population have to be met and there is a continued focus on how services can be moved into primary care and away from a hospital setting.
In a nutshell...
Powys has so much to offer: great opportunities for GPs, excellent team working, and outside work...a huge landscape to explore, good schools for the children and very reasonably priced housing to live in.