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The NHS Wales GP Retainer Scheme is a package of financial and educational support designed to help keep doctors working in general practice.

The scheme applies to doctors on the GMC register that hold a license to practise. The scheme is designed to support doctors that have left, or are considering leaving general practice for the following reasons:

  1. approaching retirement, or
  2. require greater flexibility to undertake other work within general practice or otherwise; or
  3. for such other reasons related to the personal circumstances of that doctor as the Local Health Board considers to be acceptable, for the purposes of this Scheme.

The previous scheme was reviewed by Welsh Government and a new scheme was established from 30 August 2019. We are responsible for the approval of new retainer applications and practices that may wish to have a Retainer. If the practice is an approved training practice, it is not required to be re-approved to have a Retainer. A Retainer may work up to 4 clinical sessions per week in practice. Any requests to go above this must be made in writing for consideration by the Deputy Director of General Practice Education and Training.  

Further details can be found in the FAQs below and the guidance document.


How do I apply for the scheme?
Please complete the application form and email it to copying in
What if I have been out of general practice for 2 years or more?
If a doctor has not worked for 2 years or more, an application to the GP Induction and Refresher scheme would be appropriate.
I am an existing GP Retainer, will I remain on the previous scheme?
Those doctors who are existing members of the scheme will transfer to the new scheme from 1 April 2020.
On the previous scheme I received an annual CPD payment to support my educational development, what support will I receive now?
Doctors on the previous scheme will receive their annual CPD payment up to 31st March 2020. Following that, they will transfer to the new scheme’s financial arrangements and the annual CPD payment from HEIW will cease.
What are the financial arrangements involved in the new scheme?
Further information can be found in the guidance document and by speaking with Primary Care Services (part of NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership) who will coordinate the funding arrangement with the relevant Health Board.

Supporting documentation

If you have any other queries, please email