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Pharmacists may receive £20,000 to become practice partners

Pharmacists could be offered £20,000 to enter into a GP practice partnership.

The amount will initially be granted as a loan but it is envisaged that “it will automatically convert to a permanent payment after an expected minimum number of years (for example, five) as a partner”, according to the GP contract arrangement published yesterday (February 6).

From April, new partners will receive a “business training allowance” of £3,000 “and a guaranteed one-off payment of £20,000 for a full-time GP to support their establishment as a new partner”, the British Medical Association (BMA) said in the contract.

The new to partnership payment, which is a national scheme, has been introduced mainly to attract “early to midcareer GPs into partnership opportunities”, the BMA added.

However, the scheme will be “open to other professional groups”, including pharmacists and nurses, according to the BMA, which said that further guidance on the scheme will be “published following ongoing engagement with the profession and wider stakeholders”.

Pharmacists can become partners in a practice holding a General Medical Services (GMS) or a Personal Medical Services (PMS) contract, the BMA told C+D this afternoon (February 7).

Pharmacists currently based in a community pharmacy setting will not be required to leave their role “completely”, the BMA said. They could become part-time partners and “be paid pro-rata” – as the £20,000 sum is based on 37.5 hours a week – continuing to work part-time as community pharmacists.

The scheme is likely to evolve "in light of experience" and the BMA expects it to run for two or three years in “its initial phase”.

Would you consider becoming a partner in a GP practice?

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