We’re supporting general practice to deliver change through the national General Practice Improvement Programme (GPIP), which was introduced as part of the Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care in May 2023.
The programme provides tailored support for practices and primary care networks (PCNs) over 2 years (2023 to 2025) to make changes and improvements to how they work.
Why does general practice need support?
Demand and complexity in general practice are increasing, and practices are facing a widening gap between patient demand and the capacity available to meet that demand. All practices have pressures and workforce challenges, with these often felt most acutely in practices working in areas of high need and deprivation, and in rural areas.
A wide range of GP practices across England have innovated in response to these challenges and have created the different elements of a ‘modern general practice model’. We have collated and codified these and are sharing them more widely to help practices and PCNs make changes more easily and realise the benefits more quickly.
The modern general practice model
The Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care commits to supporting practices move to a modern general practice model.
The modern general practice model is a way of organising work in general practice that enables:
- practices to see all patient need, by providing inclusive, straightforward online and telephone access
- practices to understand all need through structured information gathering
- practices to prioritise and allocate need safely and equitably (including continuity of care)
- practices to make best use of other primary care services and the multi-professional team
- practices to improve efficiency of their processes and reduce duplication.
Many practices are already changing the way they work and have seen many benefits from implementing elements of modern general practice including:
- releasing GP and administrative time – 2.5% of GP appointments saved
- use of other primary care services with 450,000 referrals made to community pharmacy with only 6% needing to be referred back to general practice
- improved continuity of care resulting in an estimated 5.2% reduction in consultation numbers
- patient experience scores that are 6 percentage points higher than the national average
- 60% of staff reporting that the number of complaints have reduced
- 70% of staff reporting that their workload is easier to manage.
Support for practices and primary care networks
The General Practice Improvement Programme (GPIP) helps practices implement modern general practice and realise benefits quickly. The objectives of the improvement programme are to support practices and primary care networks to:
- better align capacity with demand
- improve the working environment
- improve patient experience
- build their capability to sustain improvement
The national General Practice Improvement Programme includes four elements:
The intermediate offer for practices is a hands-on package of support delivered over three months to enable planning and delivery of improvements. This support will include facilitated in-person sessions, a tailored analysis of demand and capacity, and support to implement ways of working to better align capacity to demand.
The intermediate offer for primary care networks (PCNs) consists of twelve facilitated sessions to support the PCN to develop and agree a jointly owned shared purpose, understand demand and capacity across the network, and identify local solutions to issues. The sessions will encourage the PCN to develop or build on its existing at scale working, effectively utilise additional roles (ARRS), and to share learning across the network.
The intensive offer provides targeted, hands-on support for those practices working in the most challenging circumstances. Delivered over six months, practices will benefit from on-site support as well as group-based sessions to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and sharing of experience across practices.
Universal offer for practices and primary care networks
Every practice in England can access the universal offer, which includes:
- online resources on five priority areas, including ‘how to’ guidance, quick wins and good practice
- webinars covering the five key priority areas and advice on how to make practical changes and improvements in general practice
- online ‘support sessions’ following each webinar where practice and PCN teams can ‘ask an expert’ for help.
Capability building offer
The capability building offer provides individuals in practices and primary care networks with practical development programmes that will increase their core skills and understanding of quality improvement tools and techniques and managing change. The offer includes short-term (over two to three sessions) and longer-term (up to twelve months) development opportunities.
For more information and resources please join Connect – our online space on FutureNHS (requires a login).
For general enquires about GPIP, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org