Retaining GPs – work undertaken during 2018/19

Some sections of this page refer to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). On 1st July 2022, integrated care systems (ICSs) took over statutory commissioning responsibilities in England, and CCGs were closed down. You can learn more about integrated care systems (ICSs) here.

Our GP retention programme invested over £10 million to provide more help to those areas that were struggling most. This aimed to:

  • support the establishment of local schemes and initiatives that enable local GPs to stay in the workforce, through promoting new ways of working and offering additional support – through the new Local GP Retention Fund.
  • establish seven intensive support sites across the country in areas that have struggled most to retain their GPs, linked to implementation of the Releasing Time for Care programme and wider work being taken forward under the General Practice Forward View.

The programme built on good practice across the country and our work through GP Career Plus, which tested ways to offer greater flexibility and better support to GPs considering leaving practice, across 10 areas of the country.

The following sites were involved in the pilot:

NHS England Region CCG area Lead employer
1 Midlands & East NHS Birmingham CrossCity CCG Our Health Partnership
2 Midlands & East North Staffordshire CCG and Stoke-on-Trent CCG North Staffordshire GP Federation
3 Midlands & East NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG Various GP practices (NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG will facilitate the making of arrangements between the GPs and GP practices)
4 North NHS Vale Royal CCG and NHS South Cheshire CCG South Cheshire and Vale Royal GP Alliance
5 North NHS Lancashire North CCG Lancashire North GP Federation
6 North NHS Hull CCG City Health Care Partnership (CHCP)
7 South NHS Hastings and Rother CCG Integrated Family Healthcare Ltd
8 South NHS Somerset CCG Somerset Primary Healthcare Ltd
9 London NHS Newham CCG Newham Health Collaborative Ltd
10 London NHS Waltham Forest CCG Waltham Forest GP Federated Network (FedNet)

Read our case studies from the pilot.

The Local GP Retention Fund

The Local GP Retention Fund supports helps GPs to stay in the workforce, by promoting new ways of working and offering additional support. It supported local systems to develop innovative local retention initiatives for GPs who are newly qualified or within their first five years of practice, who are seriously considering leaving general practice or are considering changing their role or working hours, and those who are no longer working for the NHS in England but remain on the National Performers List (Medical).

Over 200 schemes have been established as a result of the fund.

GP retention intensive support sites

Our seven GP Retention Intensive Support Sites bought interventions together at different levels, including support for individuals, practices and systems, and bringing about improvements to how GPs are engaged and encouraged to continue working.

Learning from these schemes has informed our practical toolkit to support GP retention.


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Join our community and share best practice with colleagues using the FutureNHS Collaboration Platform – email the primary care workforce team for access


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