Primary care flexible staff pools in 2020/21

The supporting general practice letter of 9 November 2020 referenced support for flexible pools to aid the process of recruiting and deploying GPs. Up to £120,000 per integrated care system (ICS)/sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) has been made available via NHS England and NHS Improvement regions so that virtual pool arrangements can be implemented or augmented at pace. This allocation is complemented by further optional enablers which systems may opt to utilise, including a template contract and a digital suppliers framework.

The ambition is for these flexible staff pools to support groups of primary care networks (PCNs), most likely at clinical commissioning group (CCG) or place footprint, to increase capacity in general practice and create a new offer for local GPs wanting to work flexibly. It is expected that practices and PCNs will benefit from reduced burden in accessing temporary staff, and potential to build better relationships with pool members.

GPs supported through the pool arrangement could have access to the flexibility of a locuming role, with the additional benefits of a salaried position.

GPs who are interested in joining their local flexible pool should contact their ICS/STP.

Read the Primary care flexible staff pools guidance to find out more.