NHS England has relaunched the Return to Practice programme according to the latest BMA newsletter for GPs.
The bursary has now risen to £4000 per month and can be backdated to 1 April.
Organisers claim the new programme is ‘less confusing’ with fewer demands on GPs with breaks of less than five years.
GPs can now join the programme while employed, which maintain access to benefits such as sick pay and annual leave.
It also claims to widen eligibility for UK GPs who have been working in other clinical roles by making it easier to apply using an RCGP-managed portfolio. More details can be found on the HEE website.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: “It’s great to see that efforts are continuing to bolster the number of GPs, and tapping into a pool of experienced ex-colleagues is certainly one way to approach that.
“However, this could be quite a challenge, and may not make much difference in the long run. Potential numbers are small, and this cohort consists entirely of individuals who at some stage in their career have chosen to leave general practice before.
“Not that anyone’s asked my opinion, but my advice would be for the NHS to actively engage with the 20,000 or so GP locums currently in practice in the UK. Even a small improvement in our collective motivation and productivity could bring about a significant increase in workforce capacity.”