Retention Scheme (GP)

The GP Retention Scheme is a package of educational and financial support to help doctors, who might otherwise leave the profession, to remain in clinical general practice. It is managed jointly by the local offices of NHSE WT&E and NHS England.

About the Scheme

The Scheme is aimed at Doctors who are seriously considering leaving (or have left) general practice due to personal reasons (e.g. caring responsibilities or personal illness). They may also be approaching retirement, or need more flexibility. It supports both the Retained GP (RGP) and their employer with financial support. This is to recognise that the role is different to a ‘regular’ part-time salaried GP post; thus offering greater flexibility and educational support.

RGPs can be on the Scheme for up to five years. They complete an annual review to assure NHSE WT&E that the Doctor remains in need of the Scheme, and that their employer is meeting its obligations.

The Scheme supports Doctors to remain in clinical general practice for a maximum of four clinical sessions per week (16 hours 40 minutes) – 208 sessions per year. This includes protected time for continuing professional development and educational support.

Who is eligible?

Doctors applying for the Scheme should 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 supporting a Doctor’s remediation. Where the relevant NHS England Responsible Officer has concerns, the Doctor would not usually be eligible for the Scheme.

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

Additionally, RGPs should meet all of the following criteria:

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
    or approaching retirement
  • require greater flexibility in order to undertake other work either within or outside of general practice.
  • When a regular part-time role does not meet the doctors need for flexibility, for example the requirement for short clinics or annualised hours.
  • 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

We encourage Scheme applicants and their employers to read the Scheme Guidance and FAQs before contacting us. Scheme applicants usually arrange a call with Dr Brydie, Retention Scheme Lead for KSS, to confirm their eligibility for the Scheme, before starting their application form.

We welcome applications to be sent by email to the KSS CPD inbox. Our team process applications and renewals as quickly as possible. However, we are unable to review forms unless they are fully completed. Forms could take up to a maximum of 8 weeks to process if additional information or clarification is needed. Because of this, we advise you to keep an electronic copy of your form, so that you can make amendments where needed during the course of the review.

All other queries

Please contact the KSS CPD inbox to submit annual reviews, notify us of a change to your circumstances, or to ask any questions related to the Scheme.

GP Retention Meeting Dates: the next meeting is Thursday 9 November.


GP Retention Scheme guidance and resources

NHS England

Contractual advice

British Medical Association

Other useful websites



KSS CPD inbox, Kent Surrey and Sussex CPD Team

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