Returning to general practice

The GP Return to Practice Programme is designed to provide a safe, supported and direct route for qualified GPs to return to NHS general practice in England.

There are several reasons why a GP might take a break from working in NHS general practice. Perhaps it’s to take time out to raise a family, to move or work abroad or gain experience in a different profession or role. Whatever the reason, there is a direct route for those that wish to return to a career in NHS general practice – and it’s never been easier.

The GP Return to Practice Programme offers flexible, streamlined and personalised pathways built around the individual needs, personal commitments and experience of each returning GP.

The Programme has been developed in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners and British Medical Association to ensure the best practical, educational and financial support is available for returning GPs.

What’s on offer?

Financial support

  • A bursary payment of up to £4,000 per month (full time) for those undertaking a placement
  • GPs with children aged under 11 can claim a total of £2000 towards the cost of childcare for each child whilst on the programme
  • GPs with other caring responsibilities may also claim a total of £2000 to meet the costs of providing care to a dependent in their absence whilst on the programme
  • A one-off payment to assist with indemnity costs while on the programme
  • A one-off payment towards the costs of GMC membership and DBS fees
  • One year’s free membership to the RCGP
  • Reimbursement of any occupational health check fees
  • Reimbursement of any visa fees for GPs and their dependents
  • The option of undertaking the programme whilst in employment and joining the NHS Pension Scheme.

Practical support

A national support team means each GP has access to a dedicated account manager and contact point to support them through the entire process. This includes:

  • A learning needs interview to agree what support a GP may need to return to general practice
  • A personalised pathway based on the educational needs of each GP
  • Access to clinical and educational supervisors
  • Peer to peer mentorship
  • Support to return under a defined scope of practice and specialise in areas of interest
  • The option to undertake the programme whilst in employment and access annual leave and sickness entitlements
  • The option to undertake the programme on a part time basis
  • Access to a suite of online educational tools
  • Help with finding a practice that can sponsor your visa if you are non-UK national.

Thinking of returning to NHS general practice? Find out more by visiting the Health Education England Medical Hub.