Collaboration for Academic Primary Care (APEx) Blog

Collaboration for Academic Primary Care (APEx) Blog

GP Workforce

Posted by jchoules

10 January 2017

We are all aware of the challenges presently faced by the GP workforce, which include decreased NHS expenditure and resources for general practice and persistent difficulties recruiting new GPs and with retaining the existing workforce. All of this is in the context of increased workload through greater numbers of consultations, increased prevalence of co-morbidity and complexity, and pressures associated with operating under new models of care.

While the long-term solutions will take time, our NIHR-funded ReGROUP project (led by Prof. John Campbell) focuses on the possible short- to medium-term solutions to retain existing GPs, in particular those that are most likely to leave the workforce on account of early retirement and those currently on a career break.

Already one year in to the project, we have conducted a systematic review, a census survey of all 3,500 South West GPs and also interviewed 61 GPs and stakeholders, all to investigate the factors causing GPs to leave and to identify potential policies and strategies that could improve retention.

Concurrently, we have developed a predictive risk model to map workforce supply and demand at local levels within the next five years with a view to being able to target workforce interventions to where they are most critically needed.

Getting to the heart of the project, we have just recruited stakeholders with expertise in workforce planning to help assess our draft policies and strategies in an online panel (using the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method), after which we will engage with those in national-level roles across the country at two consultation events in London (7th June) and in Leeds (8th June).

We are planning these national events right now and are looking forward to ‘road testing’ our findings with those best placed to tell us which policies could be implemented quickly and effectively to support the experienced GP workforce.

For anyone interested in learning more about our work, please visit our project website or do feel free to get in touch with me directly!

Emily Fletcher
Project Manager of ReGROUP / Research Fellow in Primary Care (UEMS)

January 2017


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