England's junior doctor dispute helps recruitment in Wales

Dr Qian Chen
Image caption Dr Qian Chen said he decided to be 'adventurous' and work in Wales - where he had never visited

The junior doctor contract dispute in England has led some to opt to work in Wales, according to one new recruit.

Dr Qian Chen is among 315 new starters working in the NHS for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

Strikes were held in England over a new contract which does not affect colleagues in Wales where the NHS is devolved.

Health board medical director Dr Graham Shortland said Wales should be promoting itself better to new doctors.

While Cardiff and Vale has few recruitment problems, figures from the Wales Deanery, which helps find placements for junior doctors, show health boards covering north and west Wales have about a quarter of positions unfilled.

Dr Shortland said: "Wales has a great deal to offer."

Despite having never been to Wales before, Dr Chen, from Shanghai, China, praised the Cardiff programme and its people.

'Lovely city'

He said the dispute in England which was about changes in pay and conditions had been a "big concern".

"It is why many of us chose Wales this year," he added.

Another new recruit is Dr Matthew Jones, 28, from Bath in Somerset, who is starting his GP junior doctor training at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

Despite having experience of hospitals in England, he opted to stay in the city where he graduated.

"I decided to come back to the hospital I know reasonably well, where I can learn a lot of medicine and surgery," he said.

"It is also an absolutely lovely city."

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