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Dr Lucy Henshall


I've been a GP since 1991, and was a Partner for 20 years in a large Suffolk practice. 

In 2014, unexpected major surgery, ill health, and other complexities derailed everything. My recovery was bumpy. Involuntary retirement left me with nowhere to return to, or explore my readiness for resuming GP work. 

Over time, I felt ever more isolated, almost invisible.

No one seemed willing to help resolve practical hurdles, like NHS IT re-enablement. It proved difficult to access clinical exposure in an enjoyable, supportive environment, but without the expectation of work output.

It felt very “all or nothing”.

Since 2016, I have lobbied extensively for system changes, promoting a more compassionate approach to supporting GPs. I have created a kinder way for GPs to resume work safely, in a manner tailored specifically to their own needs at the time. There is no “protocol”.

We lead from the heart, and the return to work map is designed together, over time.

It is an absolute joy to help my GP colleagues re-find their path and their professional self-worth.


It was just obvious we had to work together 

Lucy and Penny share the same values about people, and how their stories can shape their lives.

Their respective expertise helps them both understand how rigid, corporate systems create negative practices and barriers that are detrimental to people's wellbeing. 


Welcome Back to Work has never been about statistics or placing people back into jobs that don’t suit them. Lucy and Penny use their own experiences to understand others in a similar situation. Through conversations and listening, they develop a deeper understanding of the needs of every individual. Their flexible, empathetic approach and knowledge of the health care industry are the backbone of this programme.

Both Lucy and Penny are driven to make a genuine difference to help GPs take steps in getting back to work. 

There is nothing innovative about being kind, utilising strengths and valuing people. It is simply what we all deserve.



Being a practice manager was one of the best times of my career. The way I could work with the team, take time to explore people's strengths and apply this to deliver primary care services was a revelation. I also know what it's like to be on the receiving end of negative behaviours in the workplace and how this impacted my confidence and self-belief. Since starting my consulting business in 2015, I have been able to focus my attention on my interest in people. People are the most valuable asset an organisation can have. Helping individuals tap into their talents and treating them as people means everyone flourishes. 

I love it!

Penny Flack


We receive a small amount of funding from Suffolk & North East Essex STP to support GPs within their locality. If you are a GP outside of the Suffolk & North East Essex area we can help you request funding from your CCG. 


If you are a CCG who would like to run a Welcome Back to Work programme in your area please get in touch


We are always seeking additional and alternative funding so we can extend what we do. If you wold be able to support the Welcome Back to Work programme please get in touch.

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