In many organisations, employees are offered pre-retirement interviews to discuss their future plans, but this is not the case for most GPs. All too often a lifetime’s valuable and hard-earned expertise is simply lost on retirement. But that need not be the case when there are many opportunities out there.
We are therefore offering GPs who are considering retirement an informal, confidential, 1:1 discussion with an experienced colleague to explore the options. If you would like to take up this offer please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an interview.
When appraisals restart in October 2020 they will take on a new format. In recognition of the exceptional stresses that the COVID-19 pandemic is placing on doctors your appraisal will have a rebalanced approach and will focus on your professional development and wellbeing.
You will not have to supply large quantities of supporting information and pre-appraisal paperwork – preparation should normally take no more than 30 minutes. The appraisal will provide an opportunity for a confidential discussion and a time for you to reflect orally rather than in writing.
Your appraiser will capture the discussion in the appraisal summary which you will be able to correct before sign off. The GMC have confirmed that these appraisals are consistent with existing GMC guidance for appraisal and revalidation.
What about taking on a new role, or acquiring new skills?
Many GPs approaching the later stages of their careers consider taking on an educational role through which they can support the next generation of GPs. Here we describe a few of the options, along with some other resources for developing your skills in leadership that you might want to consider.
Medical Student Teaching
Medical student teaching is a popular and rewarding way of getting into teaching and developing your expertise in education. There are different approaches (from group to individual teaching), depending on the year of study the students are from, and excellent support is offered by the Academies.
University of Bristol send out a monthly Primary Care Teaching newsletter.
Full details of Bristol medical student teaching opportunities, including details of remuneration are available here.
Doctors need to be able to demonstrate that they are sound, up-to-date practitioners. A great appraiser is able to help doctors demonstrate this, while providing support and appropriate challenge. If you are interested in becoming an appraiser:
- Talk to your appraiser or other appraisers about the role.
- Contact your appraisal lead, appraisal co-ordinator or responsible officer to discuss the role and find out about the local process for becoming an appraiser.
We have included information about appraisal and contact details for the local team on our Appraisals page.
PCN Education Leads
Many Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are recognising the need to appoint a GP experienced in teaching training and supervision to the new role of Education Lead This is in recognition that:
- the embedding of new clinical roles (physicians associates, paramedics, practice-based pharmacists etc.) into primary care, with the necessary supervision and training will need an educational approach; the Education Lead would oversee the clinical and pastoral support for new PCN healthcare professionals in a strategic role that would include close working with the individual clinical supervisors;
- several of the forthcoming PCN DESs have educational requirements, such as contributing to locally organised shared learning opportunities for care homes as part of the Enhanced Health in Care Homes (EHCH); peer learning as part of quality improvement of the Early Cancer Diagnosis specifications, and staff training to meet the requirements of the Structured Medication Reviews (SMR).
The Educational Lead would work alongside the Clinical Directors (CDs) to provide the required training and facilitate peer-learning events.
Approach your PCN CD to find out whether there is an opportunity to taken on this role.
The Supporting Mentors Scheme was introduced in the ‘Update to the GP Contract Agreement 2020/21 – 2023/24’. It is a scheme supported by national funding, delivered locally, aimed at supporting GPs through creating an opportunity to develop mentoring skills, and to work in a different way. The aim is to retain experienced GPs working in primary care by creating an opportunity to support less experienced GPs through high quality mentoring. The scheme is linked directly to the General Practice Fellowship programme, with mentors providing mentorship to fellows participating in the programme. The scheme supports GPs who currently deliver – or agree to deliver – a minimum of three clinical sessions (4 hours 10 minutes each) per week, to conduct an additional weekly session of mentoring. GPs who have experience in leadership roles, medical education, or are currently a GP partner are particularly encouraged to participate. It is especially for GPs who want to “give back” but are not looking to retire yet.
The delivery of the scheme involves the recruiting and training of mentor GPs, connecting them to mentees, and reimbursing mentors for their mentorship sessions. Participants are able to access two aspects of this scheme:
- Mentorship training which results in an industry recognised qualification (likely to be equivalent to the ILM Level 5 in Coaching & Mentoring)
- A financial payment of £289 (‘mentoring supplement’) for the weekly session utilised for delivery of mentorship activities
Interested GPs should email the training hub for further information and an application form.
Other development/leadership training opportunities:
National initiatives and schemes
General Practice Improvement Leader Programme
Having clinicians and managers with quality improvement skills is key to successful change. Funded places are provided on the General Practice Improvement Leader training programme from NHS England’s Sustainable Improvement team. This is a successful personal development programme with small cohorts of up to 30 people to build confidence and skills for leading service redesign in your practice or federation. Find out more at: www.england.nhs.uk/gp/gpfv/redesign/gpdp/capability
NHS Leadership Academy
The NHS Leadership Academy’s philosophy is simple – great leadership development improves leadership behaviours and skills. Better leadership leads to better patient care, experience and outcomes. The academy’s courses in primary care leadership are led locally and vary in different parts of the country. Courses that might be available include team leadership development, emerging leaders networks and systems leadership. To enquire about what’s available in your area and for more information visit: www.leadershipacademy.nhs.uk
BMA personal and career development programmes (BMA members) The BMA offers personal, step-by-step guidance, FAQs and practical tools on the topics you face on a day-to-day basis as a GP, as well as a variety of career development and leadership courses. To learn more phone 0300 123 1233 or visit www.bma.org.uk
Advice for practice managers
For advice on how to deal with the GP partner who is approaching retirement, and starting to talk about leaving the practice click here