GP Retainer Scheme

The GP Retainer Scheme was first introduced in 1969, and enabled doctors to update / retain their skills and further develop their careers in part-time employment in an approved practice. This would normally coincide with a period of their lives in which they are only able to undertake a small amount of paid professional work. The scheme is a combination of service commitment and continuing professional development, by facilitating the opportunity to do a small amount of paid professional work and be involved in educational sessions. It aims to support the practice of medicine and career development within a protected and educationally stimulating environment. Originally the scheme allowed for only 2 sessions of work per week, but in 1998 new rules were introduced, allowing Retainers to work up to 4 sessions per week. There have been fundamental changes to the scheme since, although HEIW continues to revise its procedures in response to changes to employment law and NHS practice, including distribution of the BMA Standard Model Contract. In 2019, the scheme was updated by Welsh Government to reflect UK developments to the Retainer Scheme. In England, the National GP Retention Scheme is managed jointly by the local offices of Health Education England (HEE) (through the designated HEE RGP Scheme Lead) and NHS England.

Dr Gillian Kirkman (Female)