GPs are being invited by the college to bid for posts that would allow them one day a week of paid sessional time plus a £3,000 'innovation fund' and access to other RCGP support.
The RCGP's clinical innovation and research centre (CIRC) developed the Sowerby Innovation Fellows programme to support GPs with great ideas who are being held back by a lack of time and funding shortages to develop and roll out schemes across other practices. The programme will run for three years from 2014, with five GPs selected each year.
CIRC chair Dr Imran Rafi, who will lead the programme, said: 'GPs carry out 90% of patient contacts in the NHS for only 9% of the overall NHS budget and we are already struggling to cope with day-to-day pressures.
'There are many GPs who have excellent, and often simple, ideas that could make a positive difference to general practice and patient care but too often, these slip through the net due to a lack of time and funding.
'This programme will give innovative GPs the dedicated time and funding they need to develop those ideas and we will see huge benefits for patients and wider general practice.