General Practice Development Programme

Taking much of the learning and insight from the Making Time in General Practice report published in October 2015, the General Practice Development Programme (GPDP) was established as part of the GP Forward View. This five year, £126 million programme aimed at responding to the opportunities and challenges identified within the General Practice Forward View (GP Forward View) and building capacity for improvement.

The GP Forward View also announced a three year £30 million national development programme linked with additional investment of £96 million (£45 million to support the training of reception and clerical staff to play a greater role in navigation of patients and handling clinical paperwork to free up GP time, £6 million practice manager development and £45 million to support the uptake of online consultation systems.)

The programme will:

  • Spread the best innovations, helping all practices use the 10 High Impact Actions to release capacity.
  • Learn from the GP Access Fund and Vanguard sites to support mainstreaming of proven service improvements across all practices.
  • Fund local collaboratives to support practices to implement new ways of working.
  • Provide free training and coaching for clinicians and managers to support practice redesign.
  • National programme to stimulate update of online consultations for every practice

In turn, this will help practices lay the foundations for new models of integrated care, and play their part in delivering a sustainable and high quality NHS as part of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan process in which general practice has a key role.

10 High Impact Actions Webinars

We are delighted to announce our forthcoming webinars on the 10 High Impact Actions from September 2017. The 10 High Impact Actions are a collection of ways to improve workload and improve care through working smarter, not harder.

In each webinar, you will hear about a specific Action from people with first-hand experience. There will be plenty of time for questions. These free webinars are part of the General Practice Forward View.

10 high impact actions to release time for care

  1. Active signposting: Provides patients with a first point of contact which directs them to the most appropriate source of help. Web and app-based portals can provide self-help and self-management resources as well as signposting to the most appropriate professional.
  2. New consultation types: Introduce new communication methods for some consultations, such as phone and email, improving continuity and convenience for the patient, and reducing clinical contact time
  3. Reduce Did Not Attend (DNAs): Maximise the use of appointment slots and improve continuity by reducing DNAs. Changes may include redesigning the appointment system, encouraging patients to write appointment cards themselves, issuing appointment reminders by text message, and making it quick for patients to cancel or rearrange an appointment.
  4. Develop the team: Broaden the workforce in order to reduce demand for GP time and connect the patient directly with the most appropriate professional.
  5. Productive work flows: Introduce new ways of working which enable staff to work smarter, not harder.
  6. Personal productivity: Support staff to develop their personal resilience and learn specific skills that enable them to work in the most efficient way possible.
  7. Partnership working: Create partnerships and collaborations with other practices and providers in the local health and social care system.
  8. Social prescribing: Use referral and signposting to non-medical services in the community that increase wellbeing and independence.
  9. Support self care: Take every opportunity to support people to play a greater role in their own health and care with methods of signposting patients to sources of information, advice and support in the community.
  10. Develop QI expertise: Develop a specialist team of facilitators to support service redesign and continuous quality improvement.

Support available

  1. Releasing time for care. A £30 million programme to help practices release capacity and work together at scale, enable self-care, introduce new technologies, and make best use of the wider workforce, so freeing up GP time and improving access to services. National resources and expertise will help groups of practices plan their own Time for Care programme. This will help you use proven innovations from the 10 High Impact Actions quickly, safely and sustainably. Your programme can be tailored to meet local interests and plans.
  2. Building capability for improvement. Free training and coaching will be provided for clinicians and managers to grow confidence and skills in using improvement science and leading change. In addition, we will support a new national primary care improvement community, spreading and accelerating innovation, improvement and transformation.
  3. Training for reception and clerical staff. National investment of £45 million benefitting every practice to support the training of current reception and clerical staff to play a greater role in navigation of patients and handling clinical paperwork to free up GP time. The programme is providing funding via CCGs towards training for receptionists to play a greater role in active signposting and for clerical staff to manage more incoming correspondence. Over the next five years, a typical 10,000 patient practice could receive around £7,500 towards training and backfill costs.
  4. Practice manager development. A £6 million investment in practice manager development, alongside access for practice managers to the new national development programme. Working with practice manager leaders, the programme will support networking between managers at a local and national level, to share successful ways of managing workload and provide peer-to-peer encouragement and support.
  5. Online consultation systems. A £45 million fund has been created to contribute towards the costs for practices to purchase online consultation systems, improving access and making best use of clinicians’ time. From April 2017 the programme will provide funding via CCGs towards the cost for practices to install an online consultation system, helping GPs spend more time doing what only they can do.

As part of agreed devolution arrangements, Greater Manchester has been allocated a transformation fund which includes an appropriate share of NHS England funding for primary medical care initiatives. It will be for Greater Manchester to determine how it is spent in the local area.

Case studies

Case studies to illustrate many of the innovations already taking place in England can be found on our website here.


General practice national development programme: