GP retention scheme
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GP retention scheme

February 28, 2020

So in a nutshell the GP retainer scheme
was born because there was a recognition that there were GPs that were
considering leaving or had already left practice, primarily because of caring
responsibilities or approaching retirement or need for greater
flexibility. In my previous salaried roles, well the reason that led me to resign from my salaried role, is because the the cost of
childcare, to cover my hours, and the rising cost of an indemnity meant, that
it wasn’t financially viable to continue working. My husband was working in
hospital medicine and we weren’t really sure where we might end up so I didn’t
look for a partnership at the time and then we started a family
and had my first two children and carried on working, but then when the
third one came along it just seemed like too much to juggle so I thought I’d have
a little bit of a break then and the break was extended for longer
than I was intending to and then I think the time just flew by and
it was then I thought it would be really difficult to get back in. So I did ad-hoc locuming in out of hours for a year just because I knew that would keep me
on the performance list, maintain my skills, get me through an appraisal until
I could figure out my other options but I really was looking broadly
at any other options that I could look at to make things work. But I’d resigned reluctantly, I didn’t want to resign when I did. I went to a basic life support
update as part of my locum year and sat next to a doctor who’d recently signed
up to it and for who it was going really well she was in a similar situation to
me with two young children and she said it was brilliant I looked at it and
actually believed it looked too good to be true With the returners scheme I
had an educational supervisor, a mentor really throughout the scheme at the practice and the retainer scheme allowed that to
continue because I think with been out of practice for such a long time I would
have felt quite isolated as you know going back as a salaried GP or as a
locum and I just felt that I really needed that educational support and mentorship which the retainer scheme gives you. So it’s got me back into a practice which I never wanted to leave. I didn’t want to leave the day job, I really miss it when I was off for the year, so it’s got me back in
the job that I want to do. It’s meant that I can use childcare options which don’t require me to have a nanny and because I can use those childcare options I can
use government funding for those hours which has just made childcare very much
more affordable. It’s meant that I can do one end of the day for school drops or
pickups, depending on when I’m working, it feels a really good balance I’m not
working too many sessions at the moment, I’m intending to increase
next year and the year after, it already feels so much more workable. I mean the practice benefits, they get an allowance towards my salary and I get bursaries towards indemnity fees and courses and some subscriptions, so it benefits the practice financially. If people are thinking about leaving just definitely consider it because it makes general practice a workable option even if there’s other elements of the career people are looking at, working
elsewhere it can be done alongside the retainer scheme, so definitely consider
it as an option. I’d say if you’ve been out for a while and you’re thinking of coming back, that it is, I found it really, really rewarding, just the contact with patients and colleagues, is just so rewarding, so I wouldn’t change anything about it. At a time when
there’s a recruitment and retention crisis for GPs, I think this scheme
offers the opportunity for GPs to get fully qualified experienced GPs,
who have already worked, they’ve already qualified, they’ve got
good skills, back into practice. I think there’s so many people, certainly at my
stage in life, who are leaving who are fully fledged, confident, experienced GPs
and leaving. So I think it gives, with the payments that are made to practices, it incentivises them to offer flexibility and for that they get an
experienced GP.

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