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Workforce and Workload – GP Forward View

Published: 4 May, 2016

Workforce and Workload – in the line of sight of the General Practice Forward View

Hitting the headlines, and backed by a multi-billion pound investment, NHS England has published its plan to stabilise and transform general practice (21 April 2016). It sets out practical and funded steps.

The plan addresses investment, infrastructure and care redesign. Workforce and workload are key themes. These are extracts from the published summary:

On workforce it details action to double the growth rate in GPs, through new incentives for training, recruitment, retention and return to practice. Having taken the past 10 years to achieve a net increase of around 5,000 full time equivalent GPs, the aim is to add a further 5,000 net in just the next five years. In addition, 3,000 new fully funded practice-based mental health therapists, an extra 1,500 co-funded practice clinical pharmacists, and nationally funded support for practice nurses, physician assistants, practice managers and receptionists.

On workload the plan sets out a new practice resilience programme to support struggling practices, changes to streamline the Care Quality Commission inspection regime, support for GPs suffering from burnout and stress, cuts in red-tape, legal limits on administrative burdens at the hospital/GP interface, and action to cut inappropriate demand on general practice.

The thrust of this plan is that by 2020 practice will simply not look the same:

• It will be able to work at scale, making best use of new technologies
• There will be development and expansion of the workforce and better premises
• There will be improved signposting of patients to the most appropriate service for them or where appropriate supporting them to self-care
• GPs working as part of a more joined up primary care workforce will be able to devote the greatest amount of time to quality and health improvement for patients and local communities.

An advisory group including patients and partners (including the British Medical Association’s General Practitioners Committee and the RCGP) is charged with taking oversight of the implementation of the General Practice Forward View over the next 5 years.

General Practice Forward View, NHS England 21 April 2016

Sue Lacey Bryant
Workforce Development Tutor, Thames Valley
Health Education England

Last updated: 21 May, 2018

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