Practical resources to support GPs
GPs, at all stages of their career, are a valued and vital part of the NHS team. They should feel supported, and be able to develop fulfilling careers. However, many GPs have reported that as a result of workload, insufficient time, and increasing demands from patients, they are choosing to leave the profession early or reduce their working hours.
In 2018, we supported local initiatives to test activity that might improve GP retention through the GP Retention Intensive Support Sites. Evaluation of this work showed that where issues around workload are tackled and GPs have opportunities to work with greater flexibility or with greater variety and with additional support to help them in their role through mentoring or peer support, there is a greater chance that they will have increased job satisfaction and will be more likely to stay in general practice.
A practical toolkit has been developed from this work, setting out the key learning from these sites, and a list of key actions that local systems should adopt in local plans. We are investing £12 million in funding to the local systems in 2019/20 and 2020/21, to help deliver this local activity. As a result, Operational Planning Guidance 2019/20 requires all Integrated Care Systems and System Transformation Partnerships to ensure recommendations from this toolkit are incorporated into local planning.
The toolkit provides a step-by-step process for those involved in developing the primary care workforce to develop and implement a robust GP retention action plan. It aims to:
- Support clinical leads, GPs and their appraisers to know what good looks like and to understand the potential contribution of different levels of the system towards making general practice a better place to work.
- Help primary care networks and local workforce leads to consider, know and respond to the support needs of their GPs, how they should engage with designing the local retention action plan and what funding is available.
- Guide system leaders in understanding the core requirements of an effective action plan for GP retention and to ensure that these play a prominent part of the local primary care strategy.
This work supports our other programmes of work to help doctors who might otherwise leave the profession remain in clinical general practice:
It also sits alongside wider programmes of work which are contributing to making general practice a better place to work, GP Development Programme and work to improve how general practice and primary care work together.
GP retention: lessons from our intensive support sites
This film explores the experiences of colleagues in the Black Country, London, Weston-Super-Mare.
GPRISS Evaluation Report
Join the community
Join our community and share best practice with colleagues using the FutureNHS Collaboration Platform – email the primary care workforce team for access firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions about the toolkit or the GP retention programme? Email the team.