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Retaining doctors within general practice

Working with key partners, a number of new initiatives will be developed to invest, train and incentivise doctors to remain in general practice.

As part of this, new ways of working will be developed to support the workforce of the future:

NHS England will review the use of current retainer schemes, and invest in a new national scheme making sure it meets the needs of both GPs and practices.

The Government’s recent announcement that there will be an extra £1 billion for investment in new primary care infrastructure will enable there to be greater training capacity and a more positive experience for medical students and foundation year doctors within general practice. NHS England will work with the BMA, GPs committee on this as part of planned discussions on a general practice premises strategy which was agreed in the 2015/16 contract negotiations.

NHS England and partners will conduct a detailed review to identify the most effective measures to encourage experienced GPs to remain within practice. Options may include a funded mentorship scheme, chances for a portfolio career towards the end of your working life, and a clearer range of career pathways.

We will be working collaboratively with NHS England and others to identify key workforce priorities that are known to support general practice – including physician associates, medical assistants, clinical pharmacists, advanced practitioners (including nursing staff), healthcare assistants and care navigators.

We will agree a shared programme of key pilots at scale in primary care, to invest in and trial new ways of working for these roles, demonstrating how they work across community, hospitals and within GP surgeries to support safe and effective clinical services for patients. This will support current GPs in managing their workload, as well as piloting new ways of working for the future.

Find out more about the Clinical Pharmacy Pilot.

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