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Independents' Day

NHS England's ten-point plan for GP workforce

NHS England has worked up a £10m 10-point plan together with Health Education England, GPC and RCGP to tackle the GP workforce crisis, dubbed the ‘new deal’ for general practice.

  1. A marketing campaign including a letter to all newly qualified doctors setting out positive aspects and future careers in general practice
  2. Offering GP trainees an additional ‘flexible’ year of training where they can train in a special interest, get an MBA in leadership skills or another academic pursuit
  3. Setting up ‘training hubs’ for GP practice staff to extend their skills
  4. A time-limited incentive scheme for GP trainees committing to work in an under-doctored area for at least three years, including financial support
  5. Reviewing current retainer schemes and investing in a new national scheme
  6. Offer premises funding to training practices focused on the agenda of transferring care into community settings
  7. Reviewing how to incentivise experienced GPs to remain in practice, for examples via a funded mentorship scheme or offer portfolio careers
  8. Piloting new general practice support staff to take workload off GPs, such as physician associates, medical assistants, clinical pharmacists and advanced practitioners (including nursing staff)
  9. Making it easer to return to practice after working overseas or taking a career break, via a new clearer induction and returner scheme
  10. Offering financial incentives to returners opting to go work in under-doctored areas and reviewing the value of the performers list in its current form

Click here to read the full 10-point plan

Readers' comments (23)

  • Took Early Retirement

    Risible!

    I retired 7m ago. There is nothing here to make me go back. I think a pay rise of 25% would solve the crisis at a stroke, though not for a few years of course.

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  • Before I read this I was planning on retiring in 3 years. Funny old thing, I still am. Really, what planet are they on?

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  • I'm considering retirement next year at 55 - I bet it will cheer a lot of people having a 'difficult' doctor out of the way.
    The odd bit is the fact that some GPs who are 70 and still hanging on tell me that I will get bored if I do so !
    The only thing that may prevent me from closing a Practice with 4150 patients is an incentive that will give me payment enough to employ a full time GP and a full time nurse. At present I have a GP locum 5-6 sessions and a nurse only one day a week. Global sum of 21500 pm in contrast to other Surgeries getting av of to 31000 pm for the same number of patients in the area.Stop discriminating against my patients and that will be my incentive to continue doing my bit.

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  • Inflation has eroded workers pay over the last 10 years . Recruitment has fallen in line with remuneration . Could there be a correlation ? I think it should be investigated .

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  • T Roscoe

    I left last summer and am doing a bit of committee work and running and APMS contract. With my pension I am much better off and working less than 2 days per week

    Only if offered >£15k per session with paid holidays and sick leave would I consider returning. anything less would be a pay cut

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  • Nope, still leaving GP in six weeks, early fifties.
    Try dumping Appraisal and Revalidation, reforming the GMC, closing the CQC, and losing QOF.

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  • PS it is not about the money, it is the bullying bureaucracy, the pointless box-ticking, dumping everone elses problems on us, and the endless me-me-me from the entitled demanders

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  • It is actually a lot to do with money. In order to meet current patient demand for consultations you need to provide 100 consults (face to face or telephone) per 1000 pts per week. Assuming average consult length is 10 mins of GP time this needs 1.5 GPs for every 2000 pts. The income a practice would need even if run entirely by salaried GPs comes out at approx £130 per pt per annum. In my area a PMS practice gets £85 per pt and if you add QOF etc the top income is £100 per pt. So to manage where are now needs a 30% uplift. Any other suggestion is just whistling into the wind.

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  • Bob Hodges

    Allow me to paraphrase my learned colleague Dr Costner:

    "Fund it, and it will happen."

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  • Took Early Retirement

    Sorry to have a second bite at the cherry but isn't the real story just that the Condems want to keep a lid on it until after May? Odd, as I suspect that some of them might still be in a government.

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  • UKIP have a two point plan; abolish the CQC and end Appraisal and Revalidation
    Just how disconnected and irrelevant are the BMA and the RCGP when a bunch of fruitcakes like UKIP actually have a better idea of what the problems are in GP and what might help?

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  • I retired from clinical practice 12 months ago and I can assure you its bloody fantastic, but then so was General Practice 5 to 10 years ago. What went wrong? I do not believe that cash was the major issue (although I accept that now it maybe with the progressive eking away at pay). The issue was; (1) Over interference by government in our day-to day work. Introducing so many extraneous new tasks and distractions (days off sitting on committees) resulting in little time left in the consultation to address the patient’s agenda. (2) The gradual destruction of our professional status and image by deliberate government spin supported by the media. Combined they have destroyed public confidence in the profession, and GPs in particular.
    As to cash incentives to encourage GPs to stay on: remember the offer some years back of £10K to continue in practice from 60 to 65 yrs of age. Taxed at 40% = £6000, i.e. £1.64 per day! What planet were the government advisers on? What market research had they done? Obvious none!

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  • We GPs have had years of increasing meddling bureacracy that has taken more and more time and energy away from helping patients and lowered GP morale hugely. The benefits have only been to pay the salary middle and higher managers in the DOHealth and allow the government in power to quote statistics of dubious relevance to prove improvements have occured. SCRAP the CQC? YES! The CQC has piled on the agony enormously.A drastically slimmed down inspection would suffice to pick up unsafe practice.
    Will anyone listen to our pleas of despair? I doubt it.The poor teachers-five years ahead of us in this nightmare have not been listened to .The Ofsted inspections of schools causes much more damage than benefit. Are teachers leaving? Yes- average time before leaving of newly qualified teachers is about 3 years.

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  • Its a sad day when UKIP out of all the parties make the most sense about the NHS and reforms that are needed.The lunatic have taken over the assylum and are running amok.

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  • Vinci Ho

    I was talking to my partner's registrar the other day,'time is completely different, son, it is the job looking and begging you not you looking for the job anymore.' Things go in circles, that is life..........

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  • And this will cost how much ??
    alternatively nhs england could just stop actively making the day job unbearable.

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  • I am 57 next birthday and planning retirement this year or next. The 10 point plan is not going to make me change my mind. I think it has missed the point entirely. Morale is at an all time low and finance and salary is only a small part of what is so wrong with life as a GP. When I started out in practice 30 years ago a significant number of patients had clear memories of what life was like without the NHS, pre 1948. As the population ages this "societal memory" gets smaller and smaller. This leads to a demanding and unreasonable attitude from many patients which is highly damaging and creates a feeling of helplessness among GPs. We cannot do or say anything to the parent who brings their teenager with a spot in her ear for fear of a complaint. Furthermore I am fed up with functioning as a houseman for hospital teams who cannot do and follow up tests and investigations for patient's discharged too early. Dream job at the moment - running a haberdashery- good excuse to sew all day.

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  • when I became a GP 10 years ago (after leaving another specialty) every GP I met assumed I was looking for a partnership and couldn't understand my portfolio career or the fact that I was perfectly happy doing it. Now 10 years on I see the same people singing the praises of such a work pattern.

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  • Stop telling the public that GPs should be the go to for every single one of life's little problems and maybe we would have more job satisfaction. We are not magicians. Endless forms and box ticking to fill in don't help either. The Government and NHSE haven't got a clue how to increase the workforce because they simply refuse to accept the problems that are so obvious to all GPs. I think the best (worst) idea is taking another year of training just to do a part time course/certificate - do they really think people will jump at the chance to take a 50k+ pay cut (ST4 vs salaried FTE) to do a certificate that costs a few grand?

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  • I wanted to retire but patients I know for many years say please stay again and again

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  • yet another scheme to make GPs look like incompetent wuzzies who need nanying and constant monitoring

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  • Just had appraisal ..all seemed okay .
    Then I read the report...never mind all the hours of cpd , good feedback etc remarks like practice faces messy future etc filled the document.
    Then cqc full of praise verbally.....report not safe because fridge temp 8 degrees while restocking with influenza vaccine
    Retire?? Definitely

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  • Who are they kidding? The Ten point plan is absolutely rubbish.... The morale is all time low, GPs are exhausted and burnt out. Government and NHSE are systematically making life difficult for GPs. It is now more than 16 years since DDRBs recommendations are completely ignored, No wonder newly qualified GPs are emigrating in droves! look at Canada or Australia - Better work life balance, better pay and better respect towards the profession. GPs will leave NHS unless government and NHSE wake up and tackle the problem head-on.

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