GP Retention scheme

The GP Retention scheme is a package of educational and financial support to help doctors, who might otherwise leave the profession, remain in clinical general practice. The scheme is managed jointly by the local offices of HEE and NHS England (NHSE).

About the scheme

The scheme is aimed at doctors who are seriously considering leaving or have left general practice due to personal reasons (caring responsibilities or personal illness), approaching retirement or the requirement for greater flexibility. The scheme supports both the retained GP and the employing practice by offering financial support in recognition of the fact that this role is different to a ‘regular’ part-time, salaried GP post, offering greater flexibility and educational support.

Retained GP’s may be on the scheme for a maximum of five years with an annual review each year to ensure that the Doctor remains in need of the scheme and that the practice is meeting its obligations.

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

View our 2019-20 Retention Scheme infographic to read about the successes of the scheme across KSS.

Who is eligible?

Doctors applying for the scheme must be in good standing with the General Medical Council (GMC) without GMC conditions or undertakings – except those relating solely to health matters. The scheme is not intended for the purpose of supporting a doctor’s remediation and where the relevant NHS England Responsible Officer has concerns, the Doctor would not usually be eligible for the scheme.

Doctors must hold full registration and a licence to practice with the GMC and be on the South East National Medical Performers List (NPL) if applying for the scheme in Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

The scheme is open to doctors who meet any of the following criteria:

  1. where a 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
    b. approaching retirement
    c. require greater flexibility in order to undertake other work either within or outside of general practice
  2. 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. 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

Applying for the scheme

Please allow at least six weeks for your application to be approved before your intended start date.

Doctors who are interested in applying to the scheme should contact their designated scheme administrator who will be able to advise on their eligibility for the scheme and next steps to applying.


Application documents

Application & annual review form, FAQs and guidance on the NHS England website

Contractual advice

British Medical Association

Other useful websites




Dr Sadhana Brydie, Patch Associate GP Dean & GP Retention Scheme Lead