As the needs of patients have increased, with more people living longer with complex health conditions, n increasing level demand and workload that has impacted upon general practice. This has been a factor for GPs who have seen these challenges, as well as other factors such as mentoring and coaching, portfolio careers, and flexible working. Job satisfaction within general practice has been poor, with remuneration, perceived lack of recognition, increasing bureaucracy, indemnity costs and lack of peer support all cited as reasons affecting recruitment.
This is leading to an increase in the rate at which general practitioners are choosing to leave the workforce, or work on a more part-time basis. NHS England has invested in ways to support and retain GPs through the GP retention scheme, the Local GP retention fund, and intensive support sites nationally. For more information about GP retention, visit the site on NHS England.
Healthy London Partnership Primary Care programme is working closely with HEE and NHSE on the GP Retention Scheme that is a is a package of financial and educational support to help doctors, who might otherwise leave the profession, remain in clinical general practice. The scheme is aimed at doctors who are considering leaving or have left general practice due to personal reasons (caring responsibilities or personal illness), approaching retirement or requiring greater flexibility.
The scheme supports both the retained GP and the practice employing them 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 GPs 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. This scheme enables a doctor to remain in clinical practice for a maximum of four clinical sessions (16 hours 40 minutes) per week – 208 sessions per year, which includes protected time for continuing professional development and with educational support.
For more information about the scheme, visit the website.