RCGP calls for £150m ‘GP retention fund’

30th September 2022 by NASGP

RCGP calls for £150m ‘GP retention fund’

Retention schemes are failing GPs and patients, the RCGP has warned in a new report.

In South Yorkshire, there are currently only six GPs on the national retention scheme, despite 187 GPs and trainees dropping out between June 2019 and June 2022, the report revealed. Similarly only six GPs remain on the scheme in Manchester, despite 117 GPs and trainees leaving over the last three years.

National retention schemes are designed to offer support to GPs on the verge of leaving the profession in order to keep them in general practice delivering patient care for longer.

The College is now calling for:

  • A comprehensive review of existing retention initiatives in England, backed by an investment of £150m per year.
  • An evaluation of and improvements to induction and career support programmes for early career GPs.
  • Action to address unsustainable GP workload including cutting unnecessary bureaucracy and expanding multidisciplinary teams to free up GPs’ time for patients who need medical care.
  • Development of effective communications for patients that explain the role of the GP and other members of the team to help patients navigate general practice.

Professor Martin Marshall, Royal College of GPs chair, said: “GPs and our teams are working under intense workload and workforce pressures and this is, unfortunately, impacting on the care and services we’re able to deliver to patients.”

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: “This new paper from RCGP is a welcome addition to the conversation around GP workforce planning, and adopting its recommendations could really help tackle this almost insurmountable crisis.

“But when it comes to workforce planning, GP locums are the elephant in the room. In this report, there is absolutely no mention of GP locums; the call for ‘…urgent action to keep GPs in the profession’ belies the fact that GP locums are here, already in the profession. The existence of GP locums, and our significant role in primary care, needs to be acknowledged, and we are more than happy to work with any other medical organisation to help shine a light on our collective GP locum blindspot.”


"NASGP came along way before people understood the need for sessional and small group practices to be valued by the system. On joining as a single-handed GP many years ago, I was welcomed into the team by initially wrote a few blogs for the organisation, which followed my understanding of yet another NHS reorganisation. It was only due to the vision and drive of Richard, your founder, that NASGP survived the large practice dominance. The inception of being a portal for the needs of GP locums was a masterstroke. Those who knew about it quickly realised the true meaning of networking. So here we are many years down the line and in footballing terminology NASGP now play in the Premier League.
"Well done to all as this is a just reward for the loyalty, dedication and hard work of your team. I have fond memories of working with NASGP and would urge every practice, large or small, to join this organisation, there are only gains and no losses."

Dr Tony Hall-Jones, retired GP

Dr Tony Hall-Jones, retired GP

See the full list of features within our NASGP membership plans