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 or join 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.

GPs that have taken a break can return via the Return to Practice (RtP) Scheme whilst those that have been working abroad might find the Portfolio Route more suitable. Either way, the scheme has been developed to be flexible and fit around personal commitments and experience.

The scheme has been developed together with Health Education England, and in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners and British Medical Association to ensure the best practical and financial support for GPs.

What’s on offer?

Financial support

  • A bursary payment of up to £3,500 per month (full time) while on a placement
  • A one-off payment to assist with indemnity costs while on the scheme -available until 2020
  • A one-off payment towards the costs of GMC membership and DBS fees – available until 2020
  • Reimbursement of fees for the Portfolio Route (worth £950)
  • One year’s free membership to the RCGP
  • Reimbursement of occupational health check fees
  • Up to four fully funded attempts at the assessments
  • Reimbursement of visa fees for non-EEA GPs and their dependents
  • Help with finding a practice that can sponsor your visa if you are non-EEA national
  • GPs with children aged under 11 will be able to claim a total of £2000 towards the cost of childcare for each child whilst on the scheme
  • 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 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:

  • Advice on completing forms and paperwork
  • Assistance with arranging occupational health assessments.
  • Advice on arranging indemnity
  • Co-ordinating assessments and placements on your behalf.

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