Contract GP practices England General practitioner

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GP workforce initiatives

The GPFV aims to expand and support GPs and wider primary care staffing.

The following funding and support schemes are available to help stabilise and improve the General Practice and primary care workforce through the training and recruitment of GPs and investment in staff such as clinical pharmacists and other clinical and support staff.


Funding allocation and timelines

Clinical pharmacists

  • Applications opened on 9 Jan 2017
  • Wave 1 applications closed on 6 Feb 2017
  • First cohort of successful applicants was announced on 12 April 2017
  • Wave 7 application deadline was 23 November 2018
  • Wave 8 application deadline was 22 February 2019
  • Wave 9 application deadline - 31 May 2019

General practice improvement leader programme

GP health service

GP Retention Scheme 2017

  • On 1 April 2017 – NHS England upgraded the 2016 scheme to become a long-term initiative with some additional enhancements to support GPs at risk of leaving the workforce.

Training reception staff

  • 2016/17 - £5m
  • 2017/18 - £10m
  • 2018/19 - £10m
  • 2019/20 - £10
  • Funding allocated to CCGs on a per-head-of-population basis.


Funding schemes in detail

Physician associates in general practice

The GPFV mandated there should be 1,000 physician associates working in primary care in England by 2020/21. Read our guidance on what to consider when employing PAs.

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Clinical pharmacists in general practice

Funding to support the creation of clinical pharmacist posts in general practice. This is national implementation of the role following last year's pilot scheme.

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General Practice Improvement Leader Programme

General Practice Improvement Leader training programme from NHS England's sustainable improvement team. The programme is free to attend for any clinician or manager involved in facilitating service redesign in general practice.

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NHS GP Health Service

This programme will improve access to mental health support for general practitioners and trainee GPs who may be suffering from mental ill health including stress and burnout.

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Practice Manager Development

Funding to support the growth of local networks of practice managers. These will promote sharing of good ideas, action learning and peer support.

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GP Retention Scheme 2017

Extending the 2016 scheme indefinitely, with some additional enhancements secured following BMA GP Committee lobbying, through its inclusion in the GMS (General Medical Services) SFE (Statement of Financial Entitlements).

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Training for reception and clerical staff

This funding is to contribute towards the costs of practices training reception and clerical staff to undertake enhanced roles in active signposting and management of clinical correspondence.

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International GP Recruitment Programme

The NHS in England is recruiting at least 2,000 suitably qualified overseas doctors into GP practices by 2020. This will initially focus on doctors from the European Economic Area whose training is recognised in the UK under European law and who get automatic recognition to join the General Medical Council’s GP Register.

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GP Induction and Refresher Scheme

Whether a GP has NHS experience or not, this scheme is designed to provide a safe, supported and direct route for qualified GPs to join or return to NHS general practice in England.

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