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NHS England seeking views on partner ‘golden hello’ scheme

by Louise McEvoy
8 April 2022

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NHS England is seeking views on the new-to-partnership payment scheme that offers £20k ‘golden hello’ payments for new GP partners.

The golden handshake-style scheme was launched in July 2020 and offers a £20,000 payment as well as up to £3,000 as a training fund to support staff to transition to practice partnership.

But a recent BMA GP Committee bulletin revealed that NHS England is now ‘evaluating’ the programme, including how it is ‘viewed by GPs’.

It said: ‘[NHS England and Improvement] are evaluating the structure and impact of the new-to-partnership payment scheme to understand better how it is viewed by GPs, whether it has made a positive impact, either for you as new partners or in recruiting new partners to your practice.’

It urged those who have received the grant payment and are willing to their ‘experience and feedback’ to share their views with NHS England.

Pulse reported in February that in the 19 months between the scheme’s launch and the end of January 2022, NHS England had approved nine in 10 applications to the scheme and spent more than £21.5 million.

However, it also revealed that NHS England had clawed back some funds where partners’ ‘circumstances changed’ and 43 applications had so far been rejected for being ‘ineligible’.

It followed Pulse reporting that a GP partner has been denied a £20,000 new-to-partnership payment after NHS England U-turned on changes to eligibility rules regarding fixed-share partners.

Meanwhile, NHS England announced in December that the New to Partnership Payment Scheme would be extended for another financial year into 2022/23.

It also removed the requirement to apply within six months of starting a partnership role ‘in acknowledgement of the challenges the deadline presented to busy new partners as well as the additional pressures created by the Covid-19 pandemic’.

Currently, 12 professions are eligible for the scheme, which is due to end in March 2023 – GPs, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, physios, paramedics, midwives, dietitians, podiatrists, occupational therapists, mental health practitioners and physician associates.

This story was initially published on our sister title Pulse.