Releasing time for care

At the heart of our development programme is Time for Care, a programme to help practice teams manage their workload, adopt and spread innovations that free-up clinical time for care, and develop the skills and confidence to lead local improvement.

Time for Care – what impact has it made?

The GP Forward View was published in April 2016, one of the outcomes of which was the Time for Care programme, aimed at helping practice teams manage their workload, adopt and spread innovations that free up clinical time for care and develop skills and confidence to lead local improvement.

How the Sustainable Improvement team is helping

The Sustainable Improvement team implemented a range of improvement programmes which were well received and equipped teams with the skills and opportunity to make real improvements.

  • 2,630 of 6,985 (NHS Digital, Patients Registered at a GP Practice (12 March 2019)) practices are involved with at least one element of the Time for Care offer.
  • The programme is engaged and working with 183 CCGs.
  • The PGP Quick Start programme has delivered 10,130 in practice sessions across the first seven waves of the programme, and had 6,098 practice attendances at group based learning sessions.

Practice teams are now working differently

By increasing capability and providing hands on support, practices have greater energy and motivation to do things differently. Teams have been able to implement the 10 High Impact Actions, work together at scale with increased learning and sharing, freeing-up GP time.

Building primary care capability for improvement

Over 438 staff have received training and coaching support to develop their skills and capability to lead colleagues and teams through change, coupled with the opportunity to network and collaborate with other practice staff across the country. A strong stream of capable primary care improvement leaders in general practice is starting to emerge.

Over 5,114 individuals who participated in the programmes have opted to join our national Primary Care Improvement Community of support, indicating their commitment to maintaining and growing their skills further to continue making local change as well as connecting and sharing their learning with peers.

Delivering lasting change across general practice

Across PGP Quick Start and Learning in Action, there has been an estimated 402,252 annual hours of administrative time and 257,662 annual hours of clinical time saved; which has either already been realised in practice or is highly likely to happen due to the changes made.

Time released has led to a wide range of significant benefits.

  • GP time is being used more effectively
  • Pressure and burnout has declined
  • Job satisfaction has increased
  • Teamwork and morale has improved
  • Meaningful collaboration between practices is developing
  • Patients are benefitting from improvements made
The programmes are different to anything I have done before, they have given me the time to take stock and do something about the challenges I used to face daily in the practice.” Jacquie Williams, GP, Chipping Campden surgery.
Networking and collaborating with like-minded colleagues to share ideas and tips has been the highlight of the programme. Bapu Sathyajith, GP, The Shrewsbury Centre.
PGP Quick Start gave us the tools and support to design a simpler and streamlined process that is fit for purpose and allows us to work more efficiently as a team.” Harald Van Der Linden, GP, Trent Vale Medical Practice.
I would not have measured anything, had I not been on the General Practice Improvement Leads programme. The measurements helped review utilisation and identify capacity for seeing patients at the practice.” Hannah Smalley, Practice Manager, Merchiston Surgery.

Time for Care in 2019

Demand for Time for Care support remains high with many practice teams and groups across the country wanting to participate in the programme. As a result Time for Care will continue to be available to general practice post March 2019.

Practices who are looking to make improvements focused on one or more of the 10 High Impact Actions for general practice, will be able to access Learning in Action and Productive General Practice Quick Start. The offer for these programmes will remain the same, with teams having the opportunity to use both a collaborative approach to learning and improvement which brings local practices together, as well as receiving hands-on individual practice support to release time for care and build improvement capability.

The Primary Care Improvement Community which is over 5,114 members strong will continue as a national network. Members will be able to access the latest developments in improvement and change, as well as connecting and sharing their learning with each other. The community will grow and be a vital resource for staff who have already participated in Time for Care and want to maintain and grow their skills further to carry on making local change.

The continuation of Time for Care will give practice teams who have yet to participate in the programme the opportunity to take-up the offer of support. In many cases this will be extending local practice coverage beyond those who have already participated and achieved measurable impact including release of GP and administrative time, greater collaborative working locally between practices, and training of individuals to confidently lead change and improvement.

For more information email