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GP Retention Scheme

GP Retention Scheme

During this very challenging time for the NHS, new applications to the GP Retainer Scheme in Severn will not be processed.

 Doctors approaching HEE regarding the scheme will be signposted to other workstreams within primary care that they might wish to consider. Their interest in the scheme will be recorded, and they will be invited to apply once this crisis passes.

 This does not affect colleagues currently on the Scheme. As you will be aware, HEE has negotiated with NHS England that these doctors can undertake additional sessions, separate to the scheme (and so without the reimbursement payments to the practice), to support the workforce at this time.

Voluntarily leaving the GMC

The regulations covering voluntary relinquishing of GMC membership are cumbersome.  At present the easiest way to lose your membership is to fail to pay the fee; you are then struck off.  (Be warned!)  The rules are set up by statute and require Parliament to amend them.  However, the GMC continues to push for parliamentary time to make the necessary legislative changes so that the process for doctors wishing to voluntarily relinquish their GMC registration can become a more straightforward and less bureaucratic process. Note that if you wish to relinquish your licence voluntarily you will incur an administration fee.

Death-in-service benefits for locum GPs

NHS Business Services Authority's (NHSBSA) approach to death-in-service benefits for locum GPs is that while GP partners and salaried GPs are covered on a continuous basis (meaning that their family can access their pension regardless of when they die) locum GPs effectively won't be covered unless they die on a day they're scheduled to work. The BMA has submitted a test case to the Pensions Ombudsman to challenge that view.

New GMC guidance to help doctors with reflective practice

New guidance to help doctors and medical students with reflection has been jointly published by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans, GMC and Medical Schools Council. Access the guidance on the GMC website.

GP retention scheme

As of June 2018, around 295 GPs across England had joined the GP Retention scheme giving them the flexible working options they need to enable them to remain in practice. This scheme could be helpful for a range of GPs, including those who need time to care for family members, those wanting to reduce their hours as they approach retirement or GPs who want to receive educational and development support after a period of absence. In these cases it is worth seriously considering joining this scheme. You can watch this video interview with two GPs explaining how the scheme has helped them to continue practising.

The guide will be updated every 3-6 months, with the next version being published in October, and will also be disseminated by regional workforce leads with local information included.

If you have any feedback about the guidance, please contact Alex Ottley at

GP career support pack

As part of GP retention efforts, NHS England, RCGP and the BMA have developed a GP Career Support Pack that sets out support available at different stages of a GP's career (e.g. first five, mid-career, nearing retirement, taking a career break and / or needing extra support). The pack is intended to signpost GPs to support available throughout their career with a view to supporting their career and life choices.  

GPs are encouraged to liaise with their responsible officer team, usually via the appraisal lead, to obtain further advice and support on the initiatives and schemes set out in the pack.

The national pack is available for download on the NHS England website:

The pack will be updated every 3-6 months, with the next version being published in October. Any questions on the GP Career Support Pack can be directed to:

Indemnity in General Practice

The Department of Health has put out a fact sheet explaining how the state-backed indemnity scheme will be developed - it will take a year or more to come to fruition.  It stresses that in the meantime GPs should continue to maintain the indemnity cover the GMC requires to enable them to practise.  It is very doubtful that the state-backed scheme will ever provide indemnity for other than NHS work, so private practise, coroners cases, GMC hearings and other professional regulatory matters will require private indemnity contracts.  The state-backed scheme is likely to be administered by NHS Resolution (formerly called the NHS Litigation Authority).




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