GP Training Financial Incentives Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Can you tell me about the two General Practitioner (GP) Speciality Training incentives that were agreed by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport and announced by the First Minister as part of the Train Work Live campaign launch on 20 October 2016?
A1. The two incentives are as follows:
• the Targeted Incentive: At present GP Trainees who start the first post of their GP training programme in Wales in between 2017 up to and including February 2023, in a targeted area with a history of lower than average fill rates, will be eligible for a payment of up to £20,000 should they remain in a targeted area for the time they are training and for one year of practice after qualification. This incentive is targeted at selected training areas within Hywel Dda University Health Board (‘HDUHB’), Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (‘BCUHB’) and Powys Teaching Health Board (‘PtHB’) (‘Eligible Health Board Areas’).
• the Universal Incentive: All trainees who start the first post of their GP training programme in Wales between 2017 up to and including February 2023, are eligible to receive reimbursement for the costs of the first sitting of the Recorded Consultation Assessment (RCA) and the first sitting of the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) (approximately £2000). All Health Boards will benefit from the introduction of this incentive.
Q2. Who is funding these incentives?
A2. The incentives are being funded by the Welsh Government.
Q3. What are the eligibility criteria for these incentives?
A3. All GP trainees who commence the first post of their GP training programme in Wales from 2017 up to and including February 2023 are eligible for the universal incentive.
Trainees who have demonstrated their suitability to enter GP training, in accordance with the nationally agreed process for recruitment to GP Specialty Training Programmes will be eligible to receive the universal incentive and if training in one of the identified areas, the targeted incentive.
Trainees from the Gwent and South Powys and Swansea Bay Schemes who complete their entire ST3 post in one of the Powys practices will also be eligible for the targeted incentive.
Q4. Could I be eligible for both incentives?
A4. Yes. Individuals who start the first post of their GP training programme in Wales from 2017 up to and including February 2023 in one of the targeted areas will be eligible for the targeted and universal incentives.
GP trainees who start the first post of their GP training programme in Wales from 2017 up to and including February 2023 outside one of the targeted areas, will only be eligible for the universal incentive.
Q5. Why are these incentives being introduced?
A5. The introduction of these incentives is part of wider action being taken forward, at both national and local level, to support the Welsh Government’s commitment to invest in and support primary care.
Q6. Who can I speak to about these incentives?
A6. In the first instance you should make contact by email to: NWSSPSLE.GPST@wales.nhs.uk
Q7. Is there a website that I can access with more information about these incentives and GP training in Wales?
A7. Information regarding the incentives, and the employment of GP trainees in Wales via NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership, can be located on the Single Lead Employer website as follows Lead Employer - NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership
Q8. Who will administer the incentives?
A8. The incentives will be administered by the NHS Wales Shared Service Partnership (NWSSP), as part of their existing single employer function for GP trainees. Please contact by email to: NWSSPSLE.GPST@wales.nhs.uk
The Targeted Incentive
Q9. Where are the targeted areas?
A9. Trainees who start the first post of their GP training programme will be eligible for the targeted incentive if they commence this first post in one of the following GP Training Schemes:
• Bangor GP Specialty Training Scheme (BCUHB)
• Dyffryn Clwyd GP Specialty Training Scheme (BCUHB)
• Wrexham and North Powys GP Specialty Training Scheme (BCUHB)
• Aberystwyth GP Specialty Training Scheme (HDUHB)
• Pembrokeshire GP Specialty Training Scheme (HDUHB)
Trainees who complete their entire ST3 post in one of the following practices in Powys will also be eligible for the targeted incentive:
Trainees on the Gwent and South Powys and Swansea Bay Schemes who commence the first post in their GP Training programme between 2017 up to and including February 2023 will be asked by the GP Programme Directors to express an interest in being placed in a training practice in Powys for their ST3 year. In the event that more than one trainee wishes to be placed in a Powys practice, allocation will be based on the trainee’s ranking from their overall selection score.
Q10. How is the £20,000 incentive payment split?
A10. The incentive payment is split in two payments of £10,000.
Q11. What is the expected commitment to receive these payments?
A11. To be eligible to receive both of the £10,000 payments, the minimum amount of time a trainee would be required to train and work in one the targeted areas is 4 years. That is, 3 years full time GP training and 1 year post qualification working as a GP partner, or salaried GP in a practice or out of hours centre, within one of the Eligible Health Board Areas.
Q12. When will the first incentive payment be paid?
A12. Under the targeted incentive, the first £10,000 instalment will be paid to the trainee in their third monthly pay, apart from those trainees who have been selected to complete their ST3 post in one of the Powys practices identified in A9. Trainees who fall into this category will receive the first incentive payment in the first monthly pay that they receive after commencing their ST3 post within the targeted area.
Eligible trainees will be required to sign and return the NHS Wales Incentive Scheme Terms and Conditions that stipulates the criteria for receiving the incentive before the payment is made.
Q13. When will the second targeted incentive be paid?
A13. The second instalment of the targeted incentive will be paid when the individual has successfully completed their GP training and worked for 1 year in a substantive/fixed term post as a GP partner, or salaried GP in a practice or OOH centre within one of the Eligible Health Board Areas. In the event that the newly qualified trainee, who completed their training within one of the targeted areas, takes a locum post immediately after completing training while considering their career pathway, they can still be eligible for the second payment. This is on the provision that they take up a substantive/fixed term post as a GP partner, or salaried GP in a practice or OOH service within one of the Eligible Health Board Areas, for a period of at least 1 year within 6 months of completing their training.
Q14. What if I am off sick for a prolonged period after I gain my CCT
A14. In the event of a prolonged period of sickness post CCT, the situation will be considered on a case by case basis. Please contact NWSSP by email - NWSSPSLE.GPST@wales.nhs.uk
Q15. What if I train / work on a part time basis?
A15. There is no expectation that an individual will train and work full time. If someone trains and works on a part time basis then they would still be eligible for the full incentive payment.
Q16. What would happen if I transfer to another training scheme?
A16. All trainees wishing to transfer to another scheme must meet the eligibility criteria for Inter or Intra Deanery Transfers (IDT). Further information is available here: https://gpst.walesdeanery.org/gp-trainees/interintra-deanery-transfers
If the trainee meets the IDT eligibility criteria and there is space on the GP Training Scheme they wish to transfer to, provided they transfer into a GP Training Scheme within a targeted area in Wales, the targeted incentive will continue to apply.
If a GP trainee in a targeted GP training Scheme leaves GP training to take up a training place in a secondary care specialty-training programme within a targeted area, they will no longer be eligible for the targeted incentive and money will be recouped as outlined in Q21 below.
If a GP trainee moves to a GP Training Scheme in a non-targeted area within Wales, or to a GP training Scheme elsewhere in the UK, or resigns from the GP training Scheme for any other reason, the money will be recouped as outlined below in Q21.
If a GP trainee moves from a GP Training Scheme in a non-targeted area within Wales to a targeted GP Training Scheme they will not be eligible for the targeted incentive payment.
Q17. Will the incentive payment be used in lieu of salary?
A17. No. This payment is not intended to be used in lieu of remuneration for salary or any other costs for employment.
Q18. What if I do not work full time after I successfully complete my GP training?
A18. There is no expectation that those who undertake a substantive/fixed term post as a partner, or salaried GP in a practice or Out of Hours service, within one of the Eligible Health Board Areas, will do so on a full time basis. Therefore, they would still be eligible to receive the second incentive payment.
Q19. Will I have to take up a substantive post in a practice/Out of Hours (OOH) service in the same training area?
A19. It is anticipated that trainees will take up a substantive/fixed term position as a GP partner, or salaried GP in a practice or out of hours (OOH) service, in the same targeted Health Board boundary in which they trained. However, if they work in one of the other targeted areas they would still be eligible for the targeted incentive.
If an individual trained within a non-targeted area and then obtained work, as a qualified GP, within a targeted area then they would not be eligible for the incentive payment.
Q20. Who do I speak to about my post qualification GP practice/ Out of Hours (OOH) Service year?
A20. Individuals will need to evidence their year in practice in order to receive the incentive payment. This evidence will constitute of payslips covering the 12 month period and a letter from your GP practice / OOH centre confirming employment. Should you wish to discuss further please contact NWSSPSLE.GPST@wales.nhs.uk
Recouping Targeted Incentives
Q21. In what circumstances would I have to repay the incentives?
A21. Those who voluntarily exit the GP training programme by moving out of Wales, transferring to a GP training scheme in a non-targeted area, or move into another specialty will be subject to a proportion of the upfront payment of £10,000 being recouped.
Q22. How will the payments be recouped?
A22. Recouping of the incentive payment will:
Q23. In what circumstances would I have to repay the incentive payments?
A23. Repayment will be required by those who voluntarily exit the GP training programme by moving out of Wales; exit the GP training programme by moving to another specialty training programme or those who transfer to a GP training scheme in a non-targeted incentive area.
Recoupment of the first incentive payment will not occur in the event that the trainee reaches the end of their training programme but fails to pass one or more elements of the MRCGP.
No such recouping mechanism applies to the second incentive payment of £10,000, as this is payable at the end of the one year period worked in a substantive/fixed term post as a GP partner, or salaried GP in a practice or OOH service within one of the Eligible Health Board Areas.
Q24. Who will be responsible for allocating and recouping the funding?
A24. The NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership will be responsible for paying and recouping the incentive payment on behalf of Velindre NHS Trust (Lead Employer). If you have any queries on this matter please contact NWSSPSLE.GPST@wales.nhs.uk
Q25. Will the payments be subject to personal taxes?
A25. Yes, the payments will be subject to income tax and national insurance.
The Universal Incentive
Q26. Why has this been introduced in Wales?
A26. The intention of this incentive is to recognise the value and importance of GP training in Wales and help increase interest in and applications for, GP training in Wales so that the overall fill rate is increased.
Q27. Who will be eligible for these payments?
A27. It is applicable to all GP trainees who start the first post of their GP training programme in Wales between 2017 up to and including February 2023.
Q28. What is the payment intended to cover?
A28. GP trainees are required to pass all elements of the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) examination. Two elements of the MRCGP are the Remote Consultation Assessment (RCA) and the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT). The universal incentive payment will cover the cost of one sitting of the RCA and one sitting of the AKT (approximately £2,000).
Q29. What if I fail the RCA and/or the AKT?
A29. Individuals will only be eligible to claim for the costs of the first sitting of the RCA and AKT. No further reimbursement will be made in the event that the trainee has to undertake more than one sitting of either exam.
Q30. Will the GP trainee have to pay the examination costs initially?
A30. Yes. The costs of the first sitting of the RCA and AKT can then be claimed for via the e-expenses system.