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NHS England Revealed Major Improvement for General Practice

On 6th October 2016, NHS England has set out its latest plans to support general practice to deal with the rising demand. It is increasing GP numbers and tackling breakdown as part of the General Practice Forward View.

In January 2017, a nationwide £19.5m NHS GP health service will be introduced. It is intended at improving access to mental health support for trainee GPs and general practitioners.

The General practice forward view is committed to simplify the existing Induction and Refresher (I&R) scheme. It is aiming to reduce the time it takes for general practitioners to return to practice in England.

This year, a working group including the British Medical Association (BMA), Health Education England (HEE) and the Royal College of General Practitioners was established to review the I&R scheme and deliver a package of improvements.

The improvements are focus on three key areas. Initially, increased financial support from November 2016 that will:

  • Raise the monthly bursary for GPs on the induction and Refresher scheme from £2300 to £3500. The bursary will be available to both new and existing doctors on the scheme.
  • Provide a time-limited reimbursement (worth £464) to GPs on the scheme for the payments of GMC membership and DBS fees. It will be available until 31 October 2018.
  • Provide a time limited bursary worth £1250 to assist with the costs of indemnity whilst on the scheme. It will be available until 31 October 2018.
  • Remove assessment charges for first time applicants, which worth up to £1000.

Secondly, a new national support team for the scheme will be created in Liverpool. The new team will provide a dedicated account manager and contact point to help GPs through the whole process. The support team will also provide:

  • Advice and help with completing forms and paperwork.
  • Support on organising indemnity
  • Help in arranging occupational health assessments
  • Placements on behalf of GPs

And lastly, the process will be made easier for GPs to return to practice. NHS England will work with stakeholders for next few months to develop a national framework so that well qualified and experienced GPs can be added to the Medical Performers List without the I&R process.

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