NHS England and NHS Improvement, Health Education England (HEE), the British Medical Association (BMA) and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) have been working together to support recruitment in areas to which it has traditionally been hard to recruit.
NHS England and NHS Improvement is funding a £20,000 salary supplement to attract GP trainees to work in areas of the country where GP training places have been unfilled for a number of years.
Since its launch in 2016, the scheme has been successful in attracting GP trainees to areas of the country that have traditionally been hard to recruit to. Due to this success, NHS England and Improvement have provided additional funding to expand the number of places now available on the scheme to 500 from 2021.
The scheme is open to GP trainees committed to working for three years in areas identified by the GP National Recruitment Office (GPNRO) as having the hardest to recruit to training places in England.
Why is the salary supplement scheme needed?
Although overall recruitment of GPs is increasing, in some parts of England a significant proportion of GP training places were historically unfilled. The scheme tests whether additional financial incentives attract trainees to areas of the country with historically low fill rates.
The scheme seeks to relieve pressure on some of the GP practices in England currently facing the most severe recruitment challenges, thereby improving patient access in these areas over time.
Where are the hard to recruit training places?
For the latest list of areas covered by the scheme, please visit the Health Education England website.
How were the training places identified for the scheme?
Training places were identified by Health Education England and NHS England and Improvement based on consistently hard to fill places which may be for reasons such as rurality, deprivation and being historically under doctored over the last four years.
How do trainees apply for the scheme?
Those interested in the scheme should review their preferences within their GP application within Oriel prioritising a ‘hard to recruit to’ training place. In the event that any of the hard to recruit training places is oversubscribed, standard recruitment and selection processes for training places will be applied. For further detail, please visit the GPNRO website.
What happens if a GP trainee on the scheme leaves early?
GP trainees will need to sign an agreement to complete the three year placement, with no relocation option, prior to receiving the salary supplement. Should a trainee need to leave their training place before completing the three year placement, they would need to make a pro-rata repayment of the salary supplement.
Is the payment subject to tax?
The HMRC have advised that these payments will be subject to tax. Therefore, tax will be taken at source via the trainee’s employer payroll. Trainees are encouraged to seek financial advice and speak to their local tax office if they believe they are exempt from this tax.