The Supporting Mentors Scheme is a new commitment from the February 2020 ‘Update to the GP Contract agreement 2020/21–2023/24’, forming part of a suite of interlocking GP recruitment and retention initiatives.

This scheme will enable systems and their primary care networks (PCNs) to upskill their experienced GPs and provide a portfolio working opportunity. The vision is for systems to develop and access a cohort of locally based and highly experienced doctors to support their own more junior doctors.

GPs on the scheme will be provided with funded training, leading to a recognised mentoring qualification. Once trained, GP mentors will be reimbursed to conduct one session of mentoring every week.

GP mentors will be able to connect with newly qualified doctors on the national GP Fellowships programme and to support them embed into the local general practice environment and become an integral part of the local primary care team. Systems are encouraged to use this new initiative to deliver the ‘mentorship’ aspect of the GP Fellowship programme, which states GP fellows should expect to receive one hour of mentorship every four weeks.

To be eligible to participate in the scheme, the prospective GP mentor must:
– Be a GP, either as a partner or in a salaried post, working in general practice who holds full registration and a licence to practise with the GMC
– Meet the requirements for remaining on the NHSEI GP Performers List and report to NHSEI any concerns that might affect their status on the National Medical Performers List
– Not be subject to interim suspension under section 41A of the Medical Act 1983
– Commit to deliver one session of mentoring every week