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Independents' Day

Golden handshake scheme for new GP partners comes into force

The delayed 'new to partnership' golden handshake-style payment will become available to new GP partners from tomorrow.

NHS England said the scheme, which had been due to come in from April, gives eligible participants:

  • a sum of up to £20,000;
  • a contribution towards on-costs of up to £4,000 (for a full time participant) available to support establishment as a partner; and
  • up to £3,000 in a training fund to develop non-clinical partnership skills.

At the time of the GP contract deal, NHS England said the payment was uncapped, but formed part of a £94m cash injection to address recruitment and retention issues in general practice.

Further guidance which has now been published says that, to be eligible for the scheme, the new partner has to be a healthcare professional.

This excludes practice managers, which NHS England had previously said would be covered by the scheme, but Pulse understands further discussions are pending on the topic.

To be eligible for the payment the new partner also has to:

  • never have held a GP partnership before;
  • hold a profit share in a legal partnership;
  • commit to remaining a partner in a GP practice for five years (or pay back some of the money);
  • deliver a mininum of two clinical sessions per week in their partnership practice;
  • have signed a partnership agreement on or after 1 April 2020 and before the end of the scheme;
  • have a minimum of two years remaining in their contract.

BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: 'This scheme, secured through negotiation with the BMA, shows faith in GPs and the partnership model – backed with additional investment – so that new partners can have the confidence in taking on this important role.

'Of course, there are still wider issues facing partners – and influencing GPs’ decisions around becoming or remaining as partners themselves – that need urgent attention.'

He said this included 'vastly cutting back on bureaucracy and regulation, and empowering GPs as leaders enabled to shape sustainable services with the necessary resources in their area'.

NHS England has published more guidance here.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Funny how strategists suddenly realised that a partner is slightly useful now and again. When they want to scapegoat you and name and shame. Get taxed 40%. Be a partner for 5 years (or payback some money). Sounds like the F1/F2 plan to retain junior doctors. F4-F5 soon? Classic NHS claw back.

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  • Open to dietitians, OT's, pharmacy technicians, midwives, in fact anybody except Practice Managers...

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  • no thanks, reducing my hours in fact. by the way BMA, thanks to you, i have been either underpaid and not paid for over £800,000 worth of overtime work in the NHS. are you going to negotiate the money i was exploited out of by virtue of slave labour in the NHS?. £20,000 is a joke. Should be that every year for 5 years on top of normal pay rates with no subjection to tax or pension penalties or clauses. BMA - you failed yet again. please stop representing GPs. you have no idea what you are doing, and you never have.

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  • This wouldnt even slightly tempt me to go back to partnership-nothing is worth your health/life.
    For goodness sake BMA , act like a decent union and negotiate a halfway reasonable contract.

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  • Let common sense prevail

    So will the 'superpartnerships' now make all their nurses, healthcare assistants, pharmacists, podiatrists, physios etc partners, on a small equity share, at £20k a pop? Public money well spent?
    Surely the purpose of this scheme was to encourage GPs to become partners and run primary care.

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  • Good start but I do not think this will solve the problem. CQC causes a lot of stress to partners and £20000.00 will not cure it.

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  • You have a problem- one of the most crucial jobs in the country is so crap no one will do it. Do you a) fight hard to negotiate a decent contract or b) try to bribe people to do it?

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  • How will they stop the partner leaving the country after 1 year?

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