There are many reasons why this specialty is an attractive option for doctors who enjoy and want to use their breadth of medical knowledge and continue to develop clinical skills.
It may not always be fashionable in the NHS to say so but general practice is still a great place to work.
There’s a lot of useful information on this website. Find out more about the GP training programme and area maps with local options. Keep up to date and follow our GP community Facebook page.
Whatever you’re thinking we’re here to help. We have a large number of registered GP trainees and trainers, newly qualified and experienced GPs who can assist with local or general enquiries. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to our patients, practice staff, trainees and GPs who came forward and volunteered their time to make this introductory video.
The basics – helping you to understand general practice
What are working sessions?
Although a session is defined as 4 hours 10 minutes, periods of duty do not need to be exact multiples of sessions. For example, short days are permissible as long as the hours are all counted. An example would be where childcare commitments mean that an employee may prefer to work short days – perhaps two days from 9 am to 3 pm and one day from 9 am to 1.40 pm = 4 sessions (16 hours 40 minutes). More information about job planning is on the BMA website.
What is a ….?
General practice has traditionally been run on a partnership model where practices are owned by the GPs themselves (GP partners) and are subcontracted to provide services for the NHS. Partners take a share from the profit and are responsible for providing clinical sessions as well as taking an active role in the administrative and business side of running the practice.
Unlike salaried GPs, there is no set income range for partners. A partner’s income is dependent on both the finances of the practice and how income is distributed within the partnership, so how much you can earn will vary between practices. As an example, in 2014/15 the average income for a GP partner in the UK was £101,500.
Salaried GPs are employed by a practice and receive a salary for a contracted number of hours worked.
There is a minimum set of terms and conditions (‘the Model contract’) that applies to all salaried GPs employed by a GMS practice. The Model contract terms and conditions bring important improvements for salaried GPs, in line with the terms and conditions of other employed doctors in the NHS.
The suggested minimum salary range for salaried GPs is £56, 525 to £85,298. Employers have the flexibility to offer enhanced pay rates. In addition, under the Model contract, a GP's salary must be uplifted annually.
GP Locums work on a freelance basis and are often employed to cover back-fill, leave or sickness. Working as a locum provides a good opportunity to try working in variety of settings, seeing a range of patients and experience different ways of running a practice. It provides a good opportunity to get to know a local area. If work-life balance is important, being a locum puts you in control of how much, where and when you work.
GPs generally work freelance in three different ways:
- As independent freelance locum
- As part of a freelance GP chambers
- Employed through an agency
Locum rates of pay can vary depending on which route you take.
This term encompasses both salaried GPs, and GP locums.
Aside from being a partner, salaried or locum GP, there are numerous opportunities to include portfolio jobs, either full or part-time.
- GP with Special Interest (GPwSI) jobs are available in most specialties, including dermatology, diabetes and minor surgery
- Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) roles range from CCG Chair/Accountable officer to Clinical Director level. These jobs can be done full time or part time
- Teaching and training roles are available if you are interested in becoming a GP educator. Depending on your interest you could either train medical students, foundation year doctors or GP specialist trainees
- GP leadership roles include Associate Medical Director/Medical Directors of community trusts and mental health trusts
- Working for prison health services as a GP
- Working exclusively in Out of Hours GP services
We’re often asked about how easy is it to become a portfolio or GP with enhanced role (GPwER) often referred to as GP with special interest (GPwSI). There’s no standard route. The opportunity to work flexibly and develop areas of clinical interest is one of the great benefits of shaping your own career in general practice. Some specialty areas of work will have more structured degree courses or diploma requirements, with others it may be experience. There’s one GPs account on the BMA website and more information from the RCGP.
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