LMC scheme aims to help GPs develop portfolio careers to boost retention

An LMC scheme that aims to help local GPs develop portfolio careers has reported improved wellbeing and job satisfaction among the doctors taking part.

GPs taking part in the scheme have reported improved job satisfaction (Photo: iStock.com)
GPs taking part in the scheme have reported improved job satisfaction (Photo: iStock.com)

Nottinghamshire LMC's ‘Portfolio Plus’ scheme, which was introduced in May 2018, helps local GPs to find opportunities for portfolio work by linking them with an experienced portfolio-working GP colleague. The LMC hopes that this will enable GPs to enjoy a better working life and improved wellbeing, which in turn will improve GP recruitment and retention in the area.

Speaking to GPonline, Nottinghamshire LMC committee member Dr Christine Johnson said that GPs who have taken part in the scheme so far have reported a ‘considerable improvement in levels of job satisfaction and wellbeing'.

‘Along with many other areas in the country, Nottinghamshire LMC has become increasingly concerned about the wellbeing of local GPs and the impact on retention,’ Dr Johnson said. ‘As a result, Nottinghamshire LMC have worked collaboratively with a variety of other organisations such as the RCGP, CCGs and NHS England to explore possible solutions.’

Earlier this year, analysis GPonline revealed that the uptake of the GP retainer scheme has been dwarfed by the number of doctors quitting the profession each month.

While still in its infancy, the scheme offers those interested in developing a portfolio career one-to-one sessions with a senior GP in a protected environment to discuss career development and possible opportunities that could work alongside traditional general practice. The scheme also links GPs with local peer support networks to provide practical and emotional support.

Portfolio careers

Dr Johnson said: ‘Currently, working more than six sessions per week in standard general practice is proving too exhausting for many GPs and sadly some feel their only option is to leave general practice.

‘The hope is that, by celebrating the broad skill sets GPs have and the many opportunities available for them, GPs can continue to work in clinical practice locally in a resilient and sustainable way. It would appear that there is nothing similar locally and so [the scheme] is meeting an unmet need - particularly at these very difficult times in general practice.’

RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said: 'At a time when our workforce is haemorrhaging GPs, retaining our existing workforce is essential, and portfolio working can offer both variety and flexibility that might encourage GPs to stay in the profession for longer.

'That’s why it’s brilliant to see these schemes, particularly those that are targeted locally, highlighting the potential of general practice and inspiring GPs who might, due to the current pressures, be feeling disenchanted to consider new ways of working in the community.'

So far, 23 GPs have taken part in Portfolio Plus, which builds on learning from the NHS career plus pilot sites established over a year ago.

‘Since the scheme started we’ve been surprised at how many opportunities there are for portfolio working and yet how difficult it is to access this information as a working GP,’ Dr Johnson added.

‘GP colleagues providing advice have been pleasantly surprised by how appreciative the GP applicants have been to receive the service.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GP training: Useful resources when preparing for the AKT

GP training: Useful resources when preparing for the AKT

Dr Branavan Anandasundaram highlights useful resources that GP trainees can use to...

GP training: How to succeed in the AKT

GP training: How to succeed in the AKT

Dr Branavan Anandasundaram passed the AKT earlier this year with a score of 89.5%....

Medico-legal: Advice on prescribing opioids

Medico-legal: Advice on prescribing opioids

The MDU's Dr Ellie Mein advises on how to avoid the medico-legal risks associated...

Map: How CQC ratings for general practice vary across England

Map: How CQC ratings for general practice vary across England

An overwhelming 95% of GP practices in England are rated either 'good' or 'outstanding'...

Rise in GP waiting times 'driving more patients to Google health advice'

Rise in GP waiting times 'driving more patients to Google health advice'

Longer waits for GP appointments may be pushing more patients to search for health...

GP locum rates continue to rise in most parts of the UK, poll reveals

GP locum rates continue to rise in most parts of the UK, poll reveals

Average hourly rates received by locums have risen across England over the past 12...