The 2020/21 GP Contract deal included the offer of golden hello payments to GPs and other healthcare professionals taking up partnership roles for the first time from 1 April 2020.
The launch of the scheme was deferred due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but full guidance has now been released.
The scheme has been rolled out in a bid to attract new partners into General Practice, having seen the number of full-time equivalent GP Partners fall considerably over the past four years.
Who is eligible for the funding?
The scheme is open to individuals who are eligible to become partners as per the NHS Act 2006, working in general practice, including, but not limited to GPs, Nurses (including ANP), Pharmacists and Physiotherapists.
Initial guidance for the scheme had excluded practice managers from the list of eligible roles but NHS England primary care medical director Dr Nikki Kanani has since confirmed that the £20,000 golden hellos for new partners in England would be extended to cover practice managers taking on partnership roles.
Participants must commit to holding a partnership role for 5 years and they must not have previously been a partner in England. Partners must also be working a minimum of 2 sessions per week.
There is an annual eligibility check and reconciliation process which participants agree to when they apply for the funding.
What funding is available?
A payment of £20,000 will be paid to successful applicants. Those working less than full time can apply to the scheme, but the payment sum will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.
If the new partner increases or decreases their hours during the five-year term, the payment will be adjusted proportionately to the hours worked, subject to the cap.
The amount will be paid to GMS and PMS practices in one lump sum but is intended to be passed to the new partner. Successful APMS participants will have the payment made in line with the length of the APMS contract.
Any partners who leave the partnership before the end of the five year term will have to repay 20% of the funding for each year not completed. We would therefore recommend that the lump sum payment is not directly withdrawn from the practice, but instead is utilized as the new partner’s initial buy in fund for their share of the working capital of the practice.
There is also a training fund of up to £3,000 available to support early partnership skills development. This funding is not linked to the number of sessions worked.
Participants would need to select what training they need, and it must be started within the first year of accepting the partnership role. Any training must be paid for and then reimbursement claimed from NHS England. Reimbursement will not happen until the partner has been in the post for a year.
Will I pay tax on this income?
The funding will form part of your partnership profits and so is subject to tax and national insurance, at your marginal rates, however the funding is supported by a further 20% contribution to tax and national insurance. The whole amount will not be taxed on receipt as there is potential for claw back, so an amount equivalent to 1/5 will be taxable each year
NHS England have advised that the income is not pensionable, although this is subject to parliamentary approval, and so there should be no associated NHS Pension Scheme contributions in relation to this income by the practice or the individual.
How do I apply?
The scheme is open to applicants from 1 July 2020 and an application form is available at https://www.england.nhs.uk/gp/the-best-place-to-work/ and initially applications should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like any further information regarding this, please speak with a member of our healthcare services team.