General practice workforce initiatives

This guide is designed to inform GPs, PCNs and LMCs about workforce initiatives and schemes that can be accessed in England.

Location: England
Audience: GPs
Updated: Wednesday 28 October 2020
GP practice article illustration

The following schemes were developed as part of the BMA GP committee’s work with NHS England and HEE (Health Education England) or introduced as a result of GP contract negotiations.

 

GP training

TERS (targeted enhanced recruitment scheme)

  • £20,000 is available to GP trainees who take up a training place in an area to where it has recently proven difficult to recruit.
  • Each year, the GPNRO (GP National Recruitment Office) identifies the locations that will take part in TERS.
  • A number of posts in each location will be identified to receive the TERS payment. It is important to be aware that posts are limited, and it may be that not all training posts in an identified TERS location will receive the TERS payment.
  • For more information, including how to apply, visit the NHS England website.

TGPT (targeted GP training programme)

  • From 31 January 2018, the available extension to training for GP trainees was increased to 12 months additional training with a further six months exceptional training.
  • TGPT was introduced to allow some trainees who left GP training before this time (and after August 2010) to return to training and to benefit from the extended opportunities that new cohorts of trainees receive.
  • To be eligible, the doctors must have passed their workplace-based assessment and, one of the two required exams - either the Applied Knowledge Test or Clinical Skills Assessment but left training without passing the second exam.
  • To read the full eligibility criteria and details of how to apply, visit the GPNRO website.

 

Early career GPs

Wider schemes for GPs

Later career GPs

Supporting mentors scheme

  • Designed to support GPs by creating an opportunity to develop mentoring skills and a portfolio working opportunity to help retain GPs in the workforce.
  • Participants provide mentorship to GPs taking part in the General Practice Fellowship Programme.
  • Participants must deliver at least three clinical sessions per week and be willing to take on an additional mentoring session per week.
  • Mentors will receive:
  • training which results in an industry recognised qualification
  • £289 mentoring supplement per weekly session.

 

PCNs (primary care networks)

Additional roles reimbursement scheme

  • The scheme is designed to increase workforce capacity by bringing new staff into primary care through PCNs.
  • PCNs receive population-weighted funding to allow them to recruit staff from a list of twelve different roles:
  • clinical pharmacists
  • pharmacy technicians
  • nursing associates
  • trainee nursing associates
  • social prescribing link workers
  • health and wellbeing coaches
  • care co-ordinators
  • physician associates
  • first contact physiotherapists
  • dieticians
  • podiatrists
  • occupational therapists.
  • Staff hired by the PCN under the scheme will work at one or more of the practices within the network.
  • 100% of the salary and some defined on-costs will be paid through the scheme.
  • For more information about the scheme and the network contract DES, visit the NHS England website.

Clinical director roles

Integrated care systems and sustainability and transformation partnerships have funding available for PCN development, some of which can be used for clinical director development.

PCN clinical directors can play a role in deciding how this funding is spent at a local level alongside the CCG and the local system.

 

Associated healthcare professionals

GP nurse fellowships

  • Like the GP fellowship scheme, this is a two-year programme of support, available to all newly qualified nurses working substantively in general practice, with a focus on working in a PCN. The financial reimbursement available differs between GPs and nurses.
  • Nurses on the programme receive:
  • support with PCN portfolio working
  • learning and development support
  • support towards taking up substantive roles
  • help to understand the context they are working in within the PCN.
  • Practices are reimbursed for one session per week (pro rata) to allow participants to spend time on the programme, up to a total of £6,800 per nurse.
  • For more information about the scheme and how to apply, visit the NHS England website.

 

Wider GP teams

Apprenticeships

  • In April 2017, the Government introduced an apprenticeship levy on all employers in England with an annual pay bill over £3 million.
  • The money gathered by the levy can be accessed by all employers, including GP practices, to help with the employment of apprentices. You don’t have to be paying to be a levy payer to access the funding.
  • As of January 2020, employers can use the online apprenticeship service to manage their apprenticeships. The service allows you to:
  • access and manage apprenticeship funding
  • receive a transfer of apprenticeship funds where eligible
  • advertise vacancies on Find an apprenticeship
  • search for apprenticeships and approved training providers
  • choose approved training providers
  • select suitable end-point assessment organisations
  • give feedback on apprenticeship training
  • give training providers permission to carry out some tasks on your behalf.

Training hubs

Training hubs bring together education and training for primary and community care and can work with practices and PCNs on a range of services:

  • CPD and personal career support for all staff
  • support the coordination of education and learning placements
  • support for new staff through fellowships, preceptorships, peer and multi-professional ‘new professional’ learning groups
  • leadership programmes
  • help introduce and embed new staff roles.

All PCNs have access to training hub resources. To find out more visit the HEE website.

 

Other schemes and support

NHS GP health service (NHS practitioner programme)

  • This free, confidential service is now available for all doctors and dentists across England with mental illness and addiction problems, who are working or looking to return to clinical practice.
  • Can be accessed through a confidential national self-referral phone line, website and app.
  • Access to regional treatment services.
  • The service can be accessed through the GP health service website or you can read more on the NHS England website.

Local funding initiatives

  • Funding for local workforce initiatives can be accessed through your PCN, CCG and training hub. Your local medical committee will be able to inform you of funding schemes in your area.
  • The local GP retention fund was created in 2018 and has led to the led of numerous locally determined retention schemes.