This page was updated October 2016
The scheme aims to introduce and update qualified GPs to be able to return to practice safely, keeping up high standards expected within the NHS. There are three parts to the scheme
• Induction for doctors who have never worked as an NHS GP
• Refresher for qualified GPs with previous NHS experience who have not practised for two or more years and would like to return to work as an NHS independent practitioner in England
• Portfolio for GPs who can produce a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate that they have maintained their skills while working abroad and kept up to date with changes in NHS practice.
Each doctor will have a formal review of their qualifications and work experience by an I&R lead. You may be invited to take a learning needs assessment (MCQ) which will help inform the length of a supervised placement to see if further assessment or training is required. Placement length varies and is planned around an individual doctors learning needs
Any doctor (UK or EU qualified or holding a CEGPR) who has previously worked as an NHS GP but has been out of general practice for two or more years and is on the GMC GP Register (without GMC conditions or undertakings - except those relating solely to health matters) with a licence to practice is eligible to apply.
Doctors on the I&R scheme are required to arrange an educational and career review with the I&R lead. If formal learning needs assessments are required then you will be asked to sit the two MCQ assessments which are held 4 times a year.
• Clinical Problem Solving (CPS)
• Professional Dilemmas paper Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
During the placement the educational supervisor will provide regular feedback and document this in the Workplace Based Assessment (WPBA) log book (there is a separate Band 5 WPBA logbook to the standard scheme)
Extract from NHS England Website:
Firstly increased financial support from November 2016 that will:
• Increase the monthly bursary for GPs on the I&R scheme to £3,500. This will be available to new or existing GPs on the scheme.
• Provide a time limited financial top up to the bursary of £1,250 to assist with the costs of indemnity whilst on the scheme (available until 31 October 2018).
• Provide a time limited reimbursement (worth £464) to GPs on the scheme for the costs of GMC membership and DBS fees (available until 31 October 2018).
• Remove assessment fees for first time applicants (worth up to £1,000).
Increased practical support means from September 2016, a new national support team for the scheme, based in Liverpool. The team will provide each I&R GP with a dedicated account manager and contact point to support them through the entire process. The team will also provide support including:
• Assistance and advice with completing forms and paperwork
• Assistance with arranging occupational health assessments
• Advice on arranging indemnity
• Co-ordinating assessments and placements on behalf of GPs
New Portfolio Route
The Portfolio Route gives the option for doctors, who have worked in NHS general practice in the previous five years, and have been working abroad in an equivalent primary care setting to apply from overseas. On a satisfactory recommendation and following the formal portfolio review they can then enter directly to a short one-month placement in the UK with a satisfactory workplace based assessment.
It also aims to allow doctors planning to work overseas for a limited time (up to five years) to plan for and facilitate a return to practise by outlining the evidence required to enable them to easily return to independent NHS practice in the UK.
All this can and should occur (i.e. application and Portfolio route approval) before you give up your current job and plan to move to UK.
The first step is to register with the GP National Recruitment Office (GPNRO) indicating that you wish to apply for the Portfolio Route. They will inform the appropriate I&R Lead who will contact you to undertake the formal interview and career review to check you meet the criteria to apply for a portfolio application and seek approval from the NHS England local team. Once these steps are confirmed the GPNRO will inform the RCGP that you may apply to them for approval through the Portfolio route. The below diagram illustrates the route in full.