GP Retention Scheme
Frequently Asked Questions in the South-West Region

1) How much CPD is a retainer entitled to?

The Retention Scheme salaried GP contract states that the retainer “will be entitled to the pro rata FTE of one protected session per week for Continuing Professional Development (“CPD”). Your CPD is inclusive of the minimum number of 8 sessions of CPD per year”. A full time salaried GP contract is 9 sessions per week of 4 hours 10 mins each.

Sessions per week                        Max worked sessions per year                      CPD sessions* of 4 hours 10mins each
One session                                                    52                                                                  8
Two sessions                                                 104                                                               11.5
Three sessions                                               156                                                                16
Four sessions                                                 208                                                                23

*assuming maximum sessions are worked


2) What counts as CPD?

CPD activities may include:
• Self-directed/private study.
• Developing and/or updating a personal development plan.
• Practitioner or self-directed learning groups.
• Local protected-time learning events.
• Practice quality improvement activity.
• In-house practice based educational meetings.
There should be an appropriate balance of CPD sessions spent in the practice (such as in-house educational meetings, SEA and prescribing meetings, quality improvement activities) and activities outside the practice (such as learning groups, e-learning, self-directed learning, talks, courses and locality protected learning events).

3) When may CPD be taken?

CPD time should be planned on an annual basis.
Practices may choose to incorporate some protected CPD time within regular weekly sessions.

If CPD activities fall outside the RGPs contracted time, the CPD time can then be taken on an “in lieu” basis on a mutually agreed date.

It is helpful if a running total of CPD time is maintained by the practice.


4) How much Admin time should be included in retainer job plan?

The BMA recommends that the proportion of clinical to admin time worked should be a ratio of 3:1.


5) What count as Admin?

Duties during admin time include signing prescriptions, processing results, incoming correspondence, dictating letters and completing reports.

Duties during clinical time include all patient contact time (including phone calls and visits), and discussion with colleagues about patients (eg MDT meetings)


6) What are the reimbursements during maternity and statutory leave?

The practice and RGP will continue to receive payments under the terms of the scheme as long as the RGP remains contracted to the practice and the practice continues to pay the RGP.


7) Can I do more or fewer sessions than I agreed at the beginning of the scheme?

The standard GP Retainer contract states:
‘The number of sessions can be annualised with the expectation that you work for a minimum of 30 weeks out of the 52. If there is a substantial variation in the number of sessions per week, the prior agreement of the HEE RGP Scheme Lead is required.’


8) Can I do locum work whilst on the Retainer Scheme?

The guidance states:
‘You may work a number of additional sessions in non-primary medical services outside the practice with the prior approval the HEE RGP Scheme Lead, for instance as a clinical assistant, medical director or GP Tutor. Work as a locum is specifically excluded and not permissible under the terms of the GP Retention Scheme, unless a change of place of work (practice) is expected to occur (e.g. due to redundancy, or resignation), or you are in the final 12 months of your scheme. Then limited locum work (26 sessions / 6 months) is allowed.’


9) How long will my application take/ When can I start?

Once the application is sent to HEE, it will be checked by the administrator then must be considered by the local HEE clinical lead for the scheme. Once approval is given from the lead, it will then be passed to NHSE for a final check and funding approval.
Each application is different, but it is wise to allow at least 6 weeks from when your application is sent in to when you intend to start. Putting ‘ASAP’ on the form is not acceptable, a date must be recorded.


10) How does the practice benefit?

The practice will qualify for a payment of £76.92 per clinical session (up to a maximum of four) that the doctor is employed for. This allowance will be paid for all sessions including sick leave, annual leave, educational, maternity, paternity and adoptive leave where the RGP is being paid by the practice. Evidence of this payment will be required. The practice and RGP will continue to receive payments under the terms of the scheme as long as the RGP remains contracted to the practice and the practice continues to pay the RGP.

Contracted sessions per week Maximum financial support to practice per year (based on £76.92 per session)
1 £3,999.84
2 £7,999.68
3 £11,999.52
4 £15,999.36


11) Can a current Educational Supervisor (Gp Trainer) become a Retainer?

The new GPRS allows for more experienced doctors to be retained in the GP workforce later in their careers. Among these more doctors are approved Educational Supervisors who may wish to continue their involvement in postgraduate GP education whilst on the GPRS. HEE is conscious of contribution and commitment that these doctors have shown to GP education during their careers, and we value their experience and expertise.
However there are a number of issues that need to be recognised. Among these are the difficulty of providing clinical supervision to trainees when working limited hours with a defined remit on the GPRS, and the issue that the doctor and practice need to ensure that they are not being paid twice (via the GPRS sessional reimbursement and the trainer grant) for the same work.
Similar principles would apply regarding the training of foundation doctors and medical students.
We are happy to consider applications from doctors in this situation providing:
· They are engaged by the practice to provide educational supervision in sessions outwith their claimable GPRS sessions, and entirely funded by the practice for this work
· Other arrangements for clinical supervision of the trainee doctors are provided by the practice
· They do not use their CPD time to provide this service
· They should not be the lead supervisor for foundation doctors or medical students. 


12) where can I get further information?