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120 GPs return to practice as part of returner scheme

The national returner scheme to encourage more GPs who have taken time out of practising in the UK back to the workforce has signed up 120 GPs since last March, new figures show.

The scheme was launched as part of the ‘ten-point’ workforce strategy to rescue general practice, in a bid to make it simpler and more attractive financially for GPs to return to practice after a career break or period spent working abroad.

Health Education England (HEE) confirmed the new figures – published in board papers ahead of NHS England’s board meeting tomorrow – indicate 120 GPs have signed up with a view to returning.

Under the scheme, GPs returning to work or can get bursaries of £2,300 a month to work under supervision while they wait to get back on the performers list, while practices get £8,000 a year to take them on.

The initiative has been given the backing of GP leaders, after the RCGP said as many as 5,000 GPs could be brought back into the workforce if the process of returning was made easier.

The papers state: ‘A new GP induction and refresher scheme has been launched, as part of the GP workforce 10 point plan, with 120 GPs already registered to return to practice.’

HEE was unable to say what stage their applications were at, or where they were proposing to work.

However, Pulse revealed last month that of the first 60 GPs registered to return under the scheme, only two were in areas with the greatest shortage of GP trainees.

Readers' comments (10)

  • Less than the monthly pay to a Physicians Associate - 4167 per month, and a GP registrar, despite having perhaps years of post graduate training and experience as a GP, interrupted by a career break/children/period of work in a similar healthcare setting abroad.

    Less in numbers than those leaving the UK to work in less punitive settings.

    500,000 pounds is thrown around as the cost of training a medical student who may not even choose to practice.

    Why not pay 10% (allowing 10 returners to be paid a decent wage each month and the trainers supervision costs, for each equivalent new trainee cost).

    With a fair wage you may even attract some back to work, as it would not cost money to return, (as 2,300 not a fair rate)

    They are an underutilised resource - which could slot back in to help recruitment crisis, but only if funded at a fair rate..

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  • I have just done my 'Equalityand Diversity' training. One of the scenarios was about a company offering highly trained women derogatory rates to allow them back into their workforce after career breaks. This was considered 'indirect discrimination' as the adverse terms and conditions were likely to affect women more often than men. Surely this is also true for this GP returner scheme? BMA why are you not taking legal action over this on behalf of your female GP members???

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  • Shoot me down please!
    The only GP returners I've met have returned part time.
    If they could afford not to be a GP it's likely they ain't going to be full time. In saying that if they were all full time, how many years are you going to get out of them and they wouldn't even scratch at the unfilled places. Again we're approaching the wrong solutions to the problem. Demand and expectation too high, wages and contract conditions too low. A few returners are not going to balance the escapees

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  • £2300 - tax - indemnity - pension = you are better off on benefits.

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  • I'd be interested to know what the rate of return was like in previous years. I suspect we'll discover the incentive only encouraged those who planned to do it anyway.

    A drop in the ocean. There were 1600 applications by junor doctors for CCPS from 16th to 18th Sept - a third of the ammount for the whole of the previous year - following the contract imposition.

    Its done folks. We're done.

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  • One more thing - Can I suggest every GP in the country applies for CCPS? Might send a little message to Mr Hunt.

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  • The shortage of GP's could be resolved if GP's actually worked full time in their own practice.

    Appointments are not available because GP's are off doing other jobs yet they get paid to look after the patients registered with them!

    where else can you get paid to provide a service but be unable / unwilling to deliver.

    Each GP should be allowed to register an agreed number of patients that they can provide care for on a 37.5 hour per week. The income from those patients should be reduced pro rata ac cording the number of hours they actually work in their own practice. A GP working half a week would have his registered patients reduced accordingly, and the income he / she gets from them.

    Whilst many GP's complain just about everything, they are hardly willing to put the hours in to ear the pay from large list of patients they fail to be available to.

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  • Anon 1.17pm

    You were trolling yesterday on one of the threads (?£90ph OOH).

    Somebody bit yesterday, fingers crossed it doesn't happen again today.

    You need a job where you have a little less time on your hands - train to be a GP maybe?

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  • 120 GPs are ready and waiting to sign those parachute GANFYDS!

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  • I am one of those 120 GPs. I had to borrow money to afford the exams to get back to work. The MDU cover is higher than that of GP registrars. I do 9 sessions a week which is more than any of the partners or the salaried GP or the trainees at the practice.
    Applying for the bursary each month requires you to put the claim in 33-4 weeks in advance. I wasn't aware of this initially so the first payment was late, resulting in the practice providing me with a bridging loan as I couldn't cover my costs

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