Practice succession

I am a single-handed GP principal at a GMS practice and I employ a full-time salaried doctor who has recently been offered partnership. A second full-time salaried doctor has been appointed with 'a view to partnership' in 18 months. I have approached the PCT with my intention to take 24-hour retirement and then return as a GP principal. The contracts manager says I cannot return unless I have a partner in the practice when I retire. I know of several GP principals in other PCTs who have been able to do this even though some of them did not have partners in their practice. Having reached 60, I find myself in a situation where I am unable to achieve what colleagues elsewhere have done. Can you advise me on how I get my PCT to see reason and help me to take 24-hour retirement and return to work?

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