Great GPs in the right surgeries
Andrew Dean and James Truswell, directors at Menlo Park, tell us why you should look for practices that offer the best career choice for you.
Menlo Park is the only consultancy in the UK that recruits solely for permanent primary care roles. Its consultants are highly experienced in the sector and take the time to listen to candidates’ and clients’ needs to result in the perfect match.
Menlo Park's directors, Andrew Dean and James Truswell, take a hands-on approach to recruitment and are involved in the process from beginning to end. We spoke to them about why they only recruit for permanent roles, the different types of career opportunities available to GPs and the future outlook for the industry.
From left: Andrew Dean and James Truswell, directors at Menlo Park
What kind of GP roles do you recruit for?
Andrew Dean: The roles we recruit for are all permanent, from salaried and partner GPs to advanced nurse practitioners and clinical lead roles. We also work with community interest companies and federations across the UK who value the consultancy we deliver against their ever squeezed budgets.
James Truswell: We’re currently working on behalf of a number of top practices to recruit for a variety of GP roles across the UK, including Barnsley, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Manchester, Reading and Leeds - and many more. Check out our GP vacancies on GP Jobs for more information.
What sets you apart from other consultancies?
AD: Our sole objective is to provide practices with permanent GPs. We pride ourselves on listening and being consultative to find out what our candidates and clients need, so we can provide the best matches. We’re not salesy at all. We go into great detail with surgeries to glean what kind of working environment they offer - everything from what the building is like to the number of appointments and sessions GPs typically take, as well as what time staff tend to go home for the day.
JT: A job interview is more likely to convert into an offer if a doctor has already bought into the practice’s culture. And if you don’t like the sound of a practice from our description then we’ll look for one that better meets your preferences.
Why do you only recruit permanent staff?
AD: I’ve always recruited for permanent roles because I believe there’s more value in doing so. We’re solving an issue for a client and candidate whilst making a difference to a practice for the long term. We are highly ethical and believe we’re genuinely helping an industry that is suffering a massive shortage of GPs. The market doesn’t need more locums, it needs more great GPs in the right surgeries.
JT: With every GP we place in a surgery, we believe we’re helping the sector. We’re helping the practice to deliver a better service to the community because they’re able to provide better continuity for the patients receiving the care. In turn, we place GPs in practices that will upskill them, guide them through training and offer them career support. From a moral standpoint, being the only company that does this puts us in a moral niche. We’re comfortable with that - it gives us pride and confidence in what we do.
What are the biggest career opportunities for GPs?
AD: GPs are in high demand so you have a lot of choices available to you in terms of which region you work in, which practice you work at and which benefits you are looking for. But you need to be aware of the reasons behind some incentives that practices are willing to offer in order to attract GPs. For example, some surgeries will offer higher salaries than the norm because they’re struggling to recruit. You need to find out why that’s the case - is the workload going to burn you out? Is your work-life balance going to be compromised? Do they offer good career development opportunities? We can help advise you on these points.
JT: We’re also well placed to advise GPs on what proposition looks good contractually, from one practice to another, because we’ve worked with so many. We can give you insider insight into what a practice is really like so that you have that knowledge from day one and can make a more informed choice.
What advice would you give someone looking for a new GP role?
AD: Go and work for a practice where you’ll be looked after. Do your research on the type of surgery you’re looking to work for and consider the opportunity from different angles because each GP surgery is different from the next.
JT: At a time where you have plenty of choice, make sure you make the right one based on what’s right for you professionally and personally. Work with practices that protect you and are innovative and forward-thinking. Ask them how they’re different from other practices. Ask them how they will develop you. If you’re relocating, be aware that practices vary by location so find out about their local nuances - we can certainly advise you on this.
What is the future outlook for permanent GP careers?
AD: Being a salaried GP on a permanent basis is the most rewarding career choice for a GP. You get to work in an environment of continuity and consistency where you’ll be invested in. If you’re experiencing a bad time in one surgery, that doesn’t have to be the case elsewhere. There are some fantastic environments you might not be aware of and you don’t have to locum to find them.
JT: With the best will in the world, even those surgeries relying on locums will eventually look to attract permanent GPs who will stay with them for the long term. In our experience, the best practices want permanent staff, so you have to ask yourself whether you’re willing to accept anything less.