This site is intended for health professionals only

GPs to be offered golden handshakes of £20,000 to take up partnerships

NHS England and the BMA have agreed the new GP contract, which will include an uncapped budget to provide £20,000 golden handshake for GPs to take up partnership roles.

The BMA’s GP Committee agreed to the contract earlier today, after it had voted down the previous negotiated deal.

The contract has a number of measures to increase recruitment, and has committed more money for additional roles in primary care networks.

It will also bring in new metrics for access to bring down waiting times, which will a new measure of ‘patient experience’.

The contract agreement has committed:

  • £94m to address recruitment and retention issues, including a ’partnership premium’, which is a one-off payment of £20,000 available to new partners with additional training support – including nurses and practice managers.
  • 100% reimbursement for all additional staff recruited via the Primary Care Networks, which now include pharmacy technicians, care co-ordinators, health coaches, dietitians, podiatrists and occupational therapists, and mental health professionals from 2021.
  • £173m for PCNs to employ a wider range of professionals to help manage workload and provide appointments, including pharmacy technicians.
  • Funding to pay for childcare for doctors returning to general practice through the GP Induction and Refresher Scheme.
  • Funding to support practices to deliver a 6-8 week postnatal health check for new mothers.
  • Increased funding into the contract which should allow for an above inflation pay uplift, as agreed in the 2019/20 deal.

There was huge outcry from the profession following the publication of the draft service specifications before Christmas, which proposed that primary care networks would have to send a GP to perform a ’care round’ every fortnight.

But under the new contract, GPs will not be asked to perform fortnightly care home visits as earlier proposed and it will be for PCNs to decide who delivers a weekly review of those care home residents, based on clinical need.

Networks will also receive £120 per care home bed to reflect the varying size of populations.

Dr Richard Vautrey, GPC England chair, said: ’After months of challenging and tough negotiations we’re pleased to have secured this package of changes that have the potential to make a real difference to GPs, the practices they work in and the patients they treat.

’The significant investment in and focus on recruitment and retention, including payments to incentivise doctors to take up partnership roles and work in under-doctored areas, is a vote of confidence in the partnership model and a much-needed first step if we are to reverse the worrying trend of falling GP numbers that we have seen in recent years.’

Check back to Pulse Today after the weekend to find out more as details emerge