Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care

Classification: Official
Publication reference: PRN00283_i


  • Integrated care boards (ICBs):
    • chief executive officers
    • chairs
    • medical directors
    • clinical directors
    • chief pharmacists
    • heads of primary care
    • heads of commissioning
  • All general practices
  • Primary care networks:
    • clinical directors
  • Community pharmacy contractors
  • All organisations involved in providing primary care services


  • NHS England regional directors
  • NHS England regional directors of primary care and public health
  • NHS England regional directors of commissioning
  • Regional heads of primary care

Dear colleagues,

Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care

Today, we have published the joint NHS and Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care. This plan is an important first step in delivering the vision set out in Dr Claire Fuller’s Next steps for integrating primary care.

Developed and informed with the expertise and insight from a wide range of health partners, the delivery plan focuses on improving access to general practice, a key commitment in the government’s Autumn Statement.

The demands on general practice have never been greater, with record numbers of appointments being delivered – half a million more every week compared with pre-pandemic. While patient satisfaction with the care received from general practice teams remains high, patients’ experience of accessing their surgery has seen a significant drop over the past year.

Supported by investment, this plan responds to patient feedback and sets out measures that will make a difference now to staff and patients, focusing efforts on taking pressure off teams, and supporting general practice to manage the 8am rush, and restore patient satisfaction with improved experience of access. This plan provides the details of how we will support practices and primary care networks to deliver on the requirements of the 2023/24 GP contract.

Proposals to expand the vital role of community pharmacies by consulting on a Pharmacy First service and the oral contraception and blood pressure services are also included in this plan.

Also published alongside the delivery plan, is the NHS England-commissioned Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) report into improving the primary – secondary care interface. Their report – General Practice and Secondary Care: Working Better Together – is a practical resource for integrated care boards (ICBs) that sets out a series of recommendations and over 50 examples where local collaboration has helped reduce unnecessary workload in both clinical settings.

We will work closely with ICB and primary care colleagues on the delivery of the commitments set out in this plan, and will shortly communicate with further information for ICBs and primary care teams on next steps and actions required to access this support. We will also be providing a checklist of actions for ICBs and general practice, as well as hosting a series of webinars in the coming months.

We will be engaging with you on key themes throughout this year, such as the GP contract, seeking your views so that together we can develop longer term actions to ensure a sustainable future for primary care.

Thank you for your ongoing effort and support during this period of sustained pressure.

I look forward to continuing to work with you.

Yours faithfully

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