NHS England states that the New to Partnership Payment Scheme is ‘aimed at supporting registered health care professionals to become practice partners (or legal equivalent) through creating a learning fund to develop skills, coupled with a financial payment’.
The idea is to increase number of GP practice partners, thus creating a more secure foundation for the partnership model, which during the last four years has seen the loss of 3,600 full-time equivalent GP partners.
Following a delay due to the Coronavirus pandemic, applications are now being welcomed as of 1 July 2020, with the scheme expected to be open to new entrants for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years.
What will I receive?
A new GP partner can receive £20,000 on commencement of a full-time equivalent role, however the scheme is available to others not working full-time, albeit on a pro-rata basis.
In addition a £3,000 training grant is available aimed at providing the requisite skills for working in partnership.
At present it is intended for the grant and training allowance to be non-pensionable income, which will not attract employee and employer contributions towards the NHS Pension Scheme, however this has yet to be approved by parliament.
This requirement is to commit to at least five years as a partner, with a stipulation that a minimum of two weekly sessions are worked throughout this period.
If sessions drop or you leave within 5 years, there will be a respective clawback of monies received.
Am I eligible?
You will be eligible if you have taken an equity-share partnership position on or after 1 April 2020, however, you must not have held a partnership position previously.
The scheme is not just aimed exclusively at GPs, but also includes nurses, pharmacists, physios and midwifes amongst other roles. However, it is worth noting that whilst the original guidance issued excluded practice managers, it is our understanding that this is being reviewed.
Accounting and tax implications will need to be considered along with the timing of releasing funds to a respective new partner.