General practitioner England

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Back-to-work bursary for GPs

A scheme to encourage GPs to return to the profession is being launched after lobbying by the BMA and other organsiations.

BMA GPs committee chair Chaand NagpaulDoctors will be paid a £2,300-a-month bursary while working in supervised GP placements under the induction and refresher scheme announced by HEE (Health Education England).

BMA GPs committee chair Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘The announcement of a funded induction and refresher scheme is ... good news for doctors who are seeking a route back into full or part-time work as a GP.’

The scheme is targeted at doctors who want to return to general practice after a career break, working abroad or caring for family.

It has also been backed by the Royal College of GPs and NHS England and is part of a 10-point plan for general practice agreed by the same organisations.

Early retirement

Though welcoming the scheme, GPC executive team lead for education, training and workforce Tom Black said more work was needed.

He said demands on GP practices had to be addressed because workload was the ‘overwhelming’ factor that led GPs to take early retirement.

He said: ‘We need to promote general practice as a career and, in the short term, we need to ensure that experienced GPs remain in practice.

HEE medical director and director of education and quality Wendy Reid said the scheme aimed to ensure returning GPs had the skills and experience to offer safe and effective care.

Overseas GPs who qualified outside the UK and have no previous NHS experience will also be eligible for the scheme.

Find more information about the scheme