Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Medical authorities in the Wiltshire town of Swindon are calling for action to be taken to rehabilitate the town’s image, after experiencing on-going recruitment difficulties.
Dr Sharon Shmueli, from the town’s Lawn Medical Centre, said they had received just two applications for a GP position in the town. She said she feared that Swindon had the kind of reputation that did not attract young people to live and work there – in any profession – and called for something to be done about it.
“I think Swindon has quite a bad reputation so either people don’t know it or they’ve heard not very good things about it,” she said. “We have to compete with places like Oxford, Bath, Bristol and Cheltenham.”
Dr Shmueli added that their recruitment struggles could also be attributed to the general fall in wages and remuneration for GPs. She said that, while this was an issue around the country, it made the situation in places like Swindon – where circumstances are already challenging – even more difficult.
Swindon Borough Council’s head of culture, Helen Miah, contested Dr Shmueli’s claims, that the town had an “underground culture”.
“We have more people singing in choirs, more people in amateur dramatics groups, more young people learning musical instruments than any other place that I’ve ever lived in,” she said. “It’s almost like we are so busy doing our own culture that we forget to shout about it.”