Portfolio Careers and Flexible Working

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Practice Nurses

All Practice Staff


The BMA asks are Portfolio careers the ‘new normal’?  They quote “most GPs who diversify remain GPs alongside their additional roles, so if diversification means we retain wonderful experienced doctors in their roles with additional interests, and encourage new colleagues to join the GP ‘ranks’ then maybe this ‘new normal’ is a good thing and something to embrace”. The BMA have two webinars available Career change and portfolio careers and Portfolio careers and clinical entrepreneurship.

Do also look at the BMA website for any live events BMA learning and development.

RCGP has guidance on your career as a GP and the BMA on career progression.

NHS England » Looking after your career offer free career coaching aimed at primary care. ‘Individual coaching is available with a skilled and experienced career coach. The aim of the service is to provide an easy to access, individually tailored coaching service that focuses on supporting you with your career choices.

If you are thinking about your career and what you want from your current role, or if you are thinking about exploring new opportunities and making some changes, investing some time with a coach can be a very helpful thing to do.’

There are schemes to help GPs carve out a career pathway tailored to their individual aspirations. The GP Career Support Hub has been created on FutureNHS Collaboration Platform – FutureNHS Collaboration Platform to help doctors understand what options are available to them at different stages in their career –  from newly qualified doctors to those approaching the end of their career. It provides information, guidance and support on career development, learning, mentoring, appraisals, career options/flexibility, wellbeing, pay and pensions to enable GPs to realise fulfilling, rewarding and challenging careers in general practice.

NHSE has information regarding the GP Medical Appraiser role. It could be both a privilege and perhaps a real challenge to support your fellow colleagues in looking at their work and discussing their priorities for professional development. The Appraiser frequently asked questions page has useful information to consider.

Additional knowledge and developing skills can offer a career development that is valued and recognised as one of the benefits of being a GP. The RCGP has adopted the term and developed guidance for GP with Extended Roles (GPwER). This recognises those with a significant role outside the core general practice, including those formerly referred to as a GP with Specialist Interest (GPwSIs)

The RCGP are supporting the British Association of Dermatologists to provide an accreditation programme for dermatology GPwERs.  One of the main challenges to the further development of GPwSIs has been a lack of consensus on how to accredit individuals.  However, the RCGP is reviewing requests from several speciality groups to develop speciality specific frameworks for new groups of GPwERs.

Several GPs, in addition to their clinical general practice and Primary Care Network (PCN) roles, have engaged in part-time roles with their Local Training Hub or Local Medical Committees. This brings the opportunity to share a wealth of knowledge and experience.

The BMA have said that following the paucity of work for locums during COVID-19, many may now be contemplating a more secure salaried role and would suggest that if you find the right position or workplace it can be a great move. Both full-time and part-time NHS GP vacancies are advertised on NHS Jobs and also Wessex LMCs Jobs with links to your local LMC job vacancies pages

Training Hubs | Health Education England ( advises to think of Training Hubs ‘as your go-to place for any information about primary care workforce, education and development’.

Fellowship posts are intended to meet current and future primary care workforce needs, supported locally by Training Hubs within their Integrated Care Systems (ICSs.)  Every practice and PCN will have access to Training Hub resources and guidance.

Find your local Training Hub:  Bath, Swindon & Wiltshire   /  Dorset   /  HIOW  /  Frimley 

The investment in primary care set out in the GP Forward View includes funding for post-CCT Fellowships. These are innovative posts available for GPs in their first 5 years after qualification.  Federations and GP Practices can apply for funding for GP roles that come under one of five broad categories of fellowship:

  • System leadership – Supporting emerging GP leaders within the local healthcare system
  • Health equity – Using the fellowship programme to reduce health inequalities
  • Clinical – Helping GPs to develop a clinical special interest e.g. dermatology, frailty, palliative care
  • Academic – Supporting early academic careers
  • Educational – Stimulating early career GP educators through involvement with undergraduate or postgraduate education

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Practice Nurses

NHSE Fellowships New to Practice is a two-year programme offering support, learning and development opportunities to all newly qualified GPs and new to practice nurses working within General Practice to support their professional development.

Subject to annual budget setting processes, national funding has been profiled for this programme through to 2023/24. A decision will be made in 2023 about whether national funding will continue after 2023/24

For newly qualified Registered Nurses, Nursing Associates and nurses new to primary care working within Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon & Wiltshire (BaNES,S&W) there is a fully-funded, 12-month online Preceptorship Programme for newly qualified registered nurses and nurses new to primary care. This is a collaborative Programme between BSW and Gloucestershire Training Hub.  The Programme covers both clinical and non-clinical topics and meets most of the National Preceptorship Framework.  There is full support throughout the programme provided by regular contact with the Legacy Nurse.  Following the end of the Preceptorship Programme, a further 2-year Fellowship Programme is offered with a focus on the individual development of clinical and leadership skills. The Fellowship Programme is not compulsory but offered to all our Preceptees.  There is also access to an Advanced Practice Apprenticeship as an opportunity to fast-track to advanced practice. For further information contact, Education Facilitator and Programme Lead at BSW Primary & Community Care Training Hub.

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All Practice Staff

For anyone working within Dorset in a Primary Care Network (PCN), at any stage of their career, including non-clinical staff who are interested in continuing their professional development, are able to access the Flex Fellowship Programme.  The Flex Fellowship offers a 12-month funded programme, of one session per week, for the candidate to undertake project work within a PCN.

For anyone working in Hampshire and Isle of Wight (HIOW) they have an Education Environment Lead (HIOW) role in most of their PCNs – these are clinical or non-clinical staff who have a passion for education and workforce development.  This role is for one, funded, session per week to be an educational leader in their PCN. For further information contact

Flexible Working is a mutually agreed working arrangement which gives a level of choice and flexibility

Guidance from NHS Employers Flexible working says “as part of the NHS People Plan, the NHS People Promise sets out a series of commitments, one of which is we work flexibly, which states: We do not have to sacrifice our family, our friends, or our interests for work”.

This ambition is to give people greater choice over their working patterns, helping them to achieve a better work-life balance. To ensure the NHS remains an employer of choice and can attract talent in a competitive job market, more action is needed to increase the uptake of flexible working.

An NHSE document Flexible working: raising the standards for the NHS, published in 2022, gives a vast variety of options to consider.  Employees have a statutory right to request Flexible Working.  Any employee who has worked at the practice for 26 weeks and has not made a Flexible Working Request in the previous 12 months, can legally ask their employer to consider whether they could work more flexibly.

The practice must consider the request, but they do not have to agree to it if it is not feasible for the business. If the practice does agree to the changes, these form a permanent contractual change for the employee.

This guide to making flexible working requests may be helpful in following the due process.

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