National Association for Patient Participation

GPFV More GPs supported to stay in practice

09 August 2016

In response to our campaigning and as part of its work supporting the workforce, NHS England has revamped the GP retainer scheme which supports GPs who can only work two days or less a week to keep working and maintain their clinical skills.

One of the key "asks" of the Put Patients First campaign has been to support GPs to stay in work where they want to, despite personal circumstances.

The idea of a "retained" doctor comes from the three ways we recommend increasing the number of GPs in the workforce: "Recruit, Return [those who have left], Retain [those who are considering leaving]", and is absolutely key in ensuring the government delivers on its promise in the GP Forward View to have 5000 more GPs by 2020.

The Retained Doctor 2016 Scheme increases financial incentives to support GPs who might otherwise leave the profession to remain in clinical general practice and provides entitlements for ongoing training for these GPs.

It’s particularly aimed at GPs who have had children and GPs who are considering retirement.

For patients, this means you can see the same GP for longer, as your GP is more likely to remain in the workforce. It should also support those GPs who might otherwise have struggled to stay at work to be more energised.

In the longer term NHS England is developing a more comprehensive "retainers" scheme. The College is working with NHS England to design the scheme and will make sure that it is the best possible scheme for GPs and their patients.

You can help make sure schemes like this continue by telling our new Prime Minister, Theresa May, that general practice is a key issue using our 5 minute online tool here.

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