The GP Retention Scheme is a package of educational and financial support for General Practitioners (GP) who need more educational supervision and flexibility. These are needs that would not be met by a regular part-time role, and would cause the GP to otherwise leave clinical general practice. Health Education England and NHS England (NHSE) jointly manage the Scheme.
About the scheme
The Scheme is for Doctors who have left, or are seriously considering leaving, general practice for reasons which are outlined below. It offers financial support to the retained GP (RGP) and their practice, in order to recognise that this role is different to a ‘regular’ part-time GP post.
The Scheme supports a Doctor to remain in general practice for a maximum of four clinical sessions per week. This includes protected time for continuing professional development (CPD) and educational support. The number of CPD sessions per year is based on the number of sessions that the RGP works per week.
RGPs can be on the Scheme for a maximum of five years. They have to complete a yearly review to assure HEE that they are still eligible for Scheme, and that the practice is meeting its obligations.
Our 2019-20 Retention Scheme infographic summarises the successes of the scheme across Kent, Surrey and Sussex (KSS).
Who is eligible?
Prospective RGPs must hold full registration and a licence to practice with the GMC. They should be in good standing with the General Medical Council (GMC), and be without GMC conditions or undertakings – except those relating to health matters only. The Scheme is not for supporting a Doctor’s remediation. Doctors are not usually eligible for the Scheme if the relevant NHS England Responsible Officer has concerns.
The Doctor should also be on the GP National Medical Performers List (NPL). The NHSEI region will need be adjusted to read ‘Kent, Surrey and Sussex’ before an application can be approved.
Additionally, prospective RGPs have to fit into all of the following three criteria:
- The Doctor is seriously considering leaving, or has left, general practice (but is still on the NPL) due to:
a. personal reasons such as caring responsibilities for family members (children or adults) or personal health reasons, or
b. approaching retirement, or
c. needing greater flexibility in order to undertake other work either within or outside of general practice.
- A regular part-time role does not meet the Doctor’s need for flexibility; for example the requirement for short clinics or annualised hours.
- The Doctor needs additional educational supervision. For example, a newly qualified Doctor needing to work one to four sessions a week due to caring responsibilities, or those working only one to two sessions where pro-rata study leave allowance is inadequate to maintain continuing professional development and professional networks.
Applying for the scheme
Please follow these instructions in the order as they are set out.
- The prospective RGP must find a practice that is willing to participate in the obligations of the Scheme.
- The prospective RGP, their employer (e.g. Practice Manager) and their Educational Supervisor must all fully read the Retention Scheme Guidance and FAQs before making contact.
- Prospective RGPs should then email the local Retention Scheme Lead to confirm their eligibility for the Scheme.
- The prospective RGP must then liaise with their employer and Educational Supervisor to complete the application form.
- The completed form should be emailed to the Kent, Surrey and Sussex CPD team.
Approvals for the Scheme can take at least six to eight weeks, and there is no guarantee that applications will be approved. Applications are delayed when the application form has not been fully completed to demonstrate the eligibility criteria above. The application must also demonstrate the willingness of the employer and Educational Supervisor to meet their obligations, and include a weekly work plan whose time totals to between one and four sessions exactly.