General Practice

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General Practice is a success story for women in medicine. Women are well represented and there are no barriers to becoming a GP. However, there are still significant issues where MWF is involved in looking at difficulties faced by women at different stages of their careers.

The recent NHS reforms have affected General Practice with the introduction of Clinical Commissioning Groups instead of PCTs. We are in a phase of flux and instability as well as financial constraint. Women now make up the majority of GP trainees.

What MWF can do for General Practitioners

The MWF is an organisation run by women doctors and medical students many of whom freely give up their time to try to help other women in the profession. A significant proportion of our members are GPs.

We hold meetings locally and nationally at which women doctors are able to network. The national meetings are also educationally worthwhile, with CPD points available to attendees for appraisal and revalidation in the future (see meetings tab for further details).

We campaign on issues relevant to women GPs such as those listed above and over the last ninety years MWF has in a large part been responsible for the introduction of Less than Full time training (LTFT)/ Returner & Retainer schemes etc.

MWF provides general information for GPs and also more specific information e.g.
regarding maternity rights /leave/ pay (see Maternity tab on this web-site).

Joining the MWF will give you access to advice and information from women doctors who know what is going on at the coalface!

Useful Links:

  • RCGP
  • Deaneries
  • Retainer scheme
  • Returner Scheme
  • Maternity locum payments
  • Maternity/ paternity entitlements
  • Parental leave
  • BMA Sessional Doctors' Subcommitte
  • Salaried doctor handbook
  • BMA Model Contract for salaried doctors
  • Focus on salaried doctors


"So you want to be a medical mum?" by Dr Emma Hill
This book has a useful chapter entitled Life as a General Practitioner

MWF Campaigns - General Practice

At least forty percent of the general practitioner workforce is either salaried or locum, employed by traditional practices (GMS or PMS), PCTs or private companies. This percentage has increased enormously in recent years and is still rising. MWF is aware of the increasing gulf between salaried GPs and partners. This is a cause for concern for both men and women doctors. The current financial position is deterring practices from taking on partners, to the detriment of younger GPs' careers. Salaried GPs do not feel well represented by GPC or their Local Medical Committees (LMCs) and this is now being addressed. Lack of partnership opportunities, employers not offering the BMA Model Salaried Doctor contract or an equivalent, and possible exploitation by employers are concerns.

Maternity Locum Pay for GPs is one of the areas of uncertainty as we move to CCGs. There is likely to be a discrepancy among different CCGs. We advise you to check for local information. MWF will be pressing for a uniform approach across all CCGs.

The theme in all the discussions is that GPs have the independence of small businesses, with self employed status, and as a result cannot expect the same treatment as NHS salaried doctors.

Medical Women's Federation
Tavistock House North,
Tavistock Square, London,
Tel: 020 7387 7765