GP Retainer Scheme

The GP Retainer scheme was updated and relaunched in 2016 and has been very popular with both participating GPs and practices alike. It was designed to assist in the retention of GPs in primary care in Northern Ireland and has been very successful in helping to encourage sessional doctors to take up substantive posts in practices, building long term sustainability in the workforce.

It will provide stable work in a practice with a suitably supportive environment and an identified trained mentor for two years. It will include one out of hour’s session per month and a mandatory funded CPD programme provided by NIMDTA to assist with appraisal and revalidation.

GPs can apply to join if they are included in the NI Primary Medical Services Performers List (NIPMPL), resident in NI, and have no conditions on their practice so can work without supervision. They should also be able to start the scheme in June 2018, or as near to this date as possible.

The documents below detail the requirements for both GPs included in the scheme, and for practices which wish to have scheme doctor.

If you are an interested GP you should send your application form to  Eligible applicants will be accepted on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, if they are able to start in June 2018. Applicants seeking to start at a later date will also be considered, depending on availability of posts.

For further information please see the documentation and guidance below. If you have any other queries about the scheme please contact Patricia Stanton or Nicola Scott at the email address above, or the Associate Director for GP Career Development at NIMDTA, Dr Louise Sands at

If your practice would be interested in employing a Retainer, please send an expression of interest form (below) to  Retainers, once appointed, will be given a list of interested practices in their chosen area and will be able to pick a practice. You may find the information in the FAQs below helpful. If you have any other queries, you can contact Patricia Stanton or Nicola Scott at the email address above.

Documentation and Guidance

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