NHS General Practice (GP) Retention Scheme


Simon Misiewicz

11th November 2017

By Simon Misiewicz

Are you considering leaving General Practice?

Are you aware of the financial and educational support to keep you in General Practice? 

The NHS is keen to ensure that people do not leave General Practice and have created a financial and educational support scheme to ensure that they are retained.

GPs may be considering leaving the profession because of retirement planning, illness, and caring for others.

Data shows peaks in GPs leaving practice aged in their 30s and 55+, this scheme is aimed at anyone intending to leave practice as they require fewer working sessions.

The new scheme supports both the retained GP and the practice employing them by offering financial support in recognition of the that this role is different to a regular part-time, salary post.

This offers the GP greater flexibility and educational support.

The GP Retention Scheme replaces the Retained Doctors Scheme 2016. The scheme continues to be managed jointly by the local offices of Health Education England (HEE) through the designated HEE RGP Scheme Lead and NHS England.

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Retained GPs may be on the scheme for a maximum of five years with an annual review each year, to ensure that the doctor remains in the scheme and that the practice is meeting its obligations.

This scheme enables a doctor to remain in clinical practice for a maximum of four clinical sessions (16 hours 40 minutes) per week – 208 sessions per year, which includes protected time for continuing professional development and with educational support.

The level of financial support may be seen here:

Screenshot 2017-10-30 17.19.13

The practice will qualify for a payment of £76.92 per clinical session (up to a maximum of four clinical sessions per week) that the doctor is employed for.

This allowance will be paid for all sessions including sick leave, annual leave, educational, maternity, paternity and adoptive leave where the RGP is being paid by the practice. Evidence of this payment will be required.

As an example, a practice will be eligible to claim £16,000 per year for a retained GP undertaking four sessions per week.

Are you eligible for the GP retention scheme?

In order to be eligible for the GP retention scheme on both the financial and educational support GPs must be able to demonstrate:

  1. Where a doctor is seriously considering leaving or has left general practice (but is still on the National Medical Performers List) due to:
    • Personal reasons – such as caring responsibilities for family members (children or adults) or personal health reasons
    • Approaching retirement
    • Require greater flexibility in order to undertake other work either within or outside of general practice.
  2. And when a regular part-time role does not meet the doctor’s need for flexibility, for example the requirement for short clinics or annualised hours.
  3. And where there is a need for additional educational supervision. For example a newly qualified doctor needing to work 1-4 sessions a week due to caring responsibilities or those working only 1-2 sessions where pro-rata study leave allowance is inadequate to maintain continuing professional development and professional networks.

The retained GP will be engaged to work a maximum of 208 sessions per year including annual leave, statutory holidays and personal development time.

Doctors must hold full registration and a licence to practice with the GMC and be on the National Medical Performers List.

Doctors who are interested in applying to the scheme should contact their HEE Scheme Lead, who will be able to advise on their eligibility for the scheme.

More can be read about the GP Retention scheme Here.

In addition the retained GP will be expected to:

  • Maintain registration with the General Medical Council (GMC).
  • Maintain membership of a medical defence organisation to the level required by NHS England.
  • Notify the GP Dean, in advance where possible, of any changes in working arrangements (e.g. additional work) and domestic circumstances that may affect participation in the scheme.
  • Notify the GP Dean of any long spells off work, e.g.maternity leave or long-term sick leave.
  • Submit to the GP Dean an annual renewal form and discuss this with the local HEE scheme lead at least one month in advance of the joining anniversary, to allow time for discussion regarding continuity of the scheme and any adjustments required.
  • Make every effort to attend any events organised by the GP Dean expressly for RGPs.
  • Make their responsible officer aware of the fact that they are a retained doctor.

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