Delivery Plan for Recovering Access to Primary Care letter

Classification: Official

Publication reference: PR00475


  • Integrated Care Boards:
    • Chief executives
    • Chairs
    • Medical directors
    • Clinical directors
    • Heads of primary care
    • Heads of commissioning
    • Digital director
    • Director of communications and engagement


  • NHS England regional:
    • Directors
    • Directors of primary care and community services
    • Directors of commissioning
  • Regional heads of primary care


Dear colleagues,

Delivery Plan for Recovering Access to Primary Care

Last week we published the joint NHS and Department of Health and Social Care Delivery Plan for Recovering Access to Primary Care. The plan sets out an ambitious package of measures to tackle the “8am rush” and help improve patient satisfaction with access.

We recognise how hard general practice and GPs are working to deal with an unprecedented demand for appointments in challenging circumstances. To be able to respond to this demand and ensure we best meet the needs of our local communities, we must expand capacity and transform the way we deliver services.

The Fuller Stocktake built a broad consensus on the vision for integrated primary care services and in order to realise this, we need to take the pressure off general practice.

Supported by significant investment of more than £1 billion, the plan covers four key areas:

  1. Empowering patients to manage their own health
  2. Implementing modern general practice access
  3. Building capacity
  4. Cutting bureaucracy

The plan set out a number of offers and key actions that underpin these areas, including some imminent deadlines over the coming weeks.  For ease of reference, we have pulled these into a summary of the support offer for practices and primary care networks (PCNs) and checklists of actions that we are sending with this letter. These outline the national support offer and how general practice will be supported across every level of the system to implement these changes. This aligns with the new NHS England Operating Framework and ways of working. NHS England regional teams will play a key role in supporting systems and providing assurance on delivery.

Integrated care boards are asked to cascade this letter and checklists to all PCNs and practices and begin work to develop system level access recovery plans, working closely with regional teams. 

There will be continued engagement and national support to regions, integrated care boards and general practice throughout this year to ensure we realise the ambitions set out in the plan. 

As always, thank you for your ongoing hard work and commitment to providing high-quality care.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Amanda Doyle, National Director for Primary Care and Community Services, NHS England