The Supporting Mentors Scheme is a new commitment from the February 2020 ‘Update to the GP Contract agreement 2020/21–2023/24’, forming part of a suite of interlocking GP recruitment and retention initiatives.
This scheme will enable systems and their primary care networks (PCNs) to upskill their experienced GPs and provide a portfolio working opportunity. The vision is for systems to develop and access a cohort of locally based and highly experienced doctors to support their own more junior doctors.
GPs on the scheme will be provided with funded training, leading to a recognised mentoring qualification. Once trained, GP mentors will be reimbursed to conduct one session of mentoring every week. In 2021/22, GPs are also eligible for reimbursement of £1156 (equivalent to four mentoring sessions) for time undertaking mentorship training.
GP mentors will be able to connect with newly qualified doctors on the national GP Fellowships programme and to support them embed into the local general practice environment and become an integral part of the local primary care team. Systems are encouraged to use this new initiative to deliver the ‘mentorship’ aspect of the GP Fellowship programme, which states GP fellows should expect to receive one hour of mentorship every four weeks.
Once the GP Fellowship mentoring need has been met, systems are encouraged to offer their additional mentoring capacity to other GPs who may benefit, such as:
- New partners on the New to Partnership Payment Scheme;
- Supporting locums into salaried roles;
- Helping mid-career GPs make career choices including deciding to take on a partnership role;
- Supporting GPs thinking of returning to the profession; and
- Conversations with GPs on the National GP Retention Scheme.
Read the Supporting Mentors Scheme guidance to find out more.