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RCGP offers GP returners a year’s free membership

College aims to encourage more GPs into 'return to practice' schemes across the UK

Louise Prime

Thursday, 30 June 2016

The Royal College of GPs has announced that it is offering GPs returning to practice a year’s free membership, with the aim of encouraging more doctors to consider rejoining frontline general practice. The College said the move is just one part of its work to tackle the problems that GPs can face when they decide to return to practice after taking a career break or a spell working abroad.

The offer of one year’s free College membership applies to GPs who register with recognised "return to practice" schemes – Induction and Refresher schemes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the Induction and Returners Programme in Scotland. The RCGP has been working closely with other medical bodies from across the four nations, to streamline the whole return to practice process.

GPs who have qualified in the UK via the MRCGP exam route, or who have ever been a member of the College via another route (such as Membership by Assessment of Performance), and are returning to work in the UK after either working abroad or a career break of two years or more, will receive one year’s full membership for free.

GPs who qualified in the UK but did not take the MRCGP exam and who have never been members of the RCGP – as well as EU doctors, or those who hold Certificate of Eligibility for GP Registration (CEGPR) – will receive one year’s associate membership for free.

College chair Dr Maureen Baker said: “Encouraging more GPs to come back to general practice in the UK is a priority for the College … It makes absolutely no sense to put barriers in the way of trained GPs who want to work, delivering frontline patient care in our NHS, whilst we have an intense shortage of family doctors.

“As part of our work with NHS England, Health Education England and the BMA to ‘recruit retain and return’ the thousands more GPs needed to deliver the safe care our patients deserve, the I&R scheme has been streamlined and the bureaucracy and red tape involved has been significantly reduced. We have been carrying out similar work in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“There is still more to do but the updated schemes are vastly improved, and we hope that offering a year’s free College membership – with access to our many professional and developmental benefits – will be an added incentive to anyone thinking about returning to the profession.

“We will continue to work with our partners to further improve routes to return to general practice … so that general practice can continue to deliver the quality care our patients need and deserve.”

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