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GP practices could host job coaches to get over-50s back to work

GP practices could host job coaches to get over-50s back to work

GP surgeries could station job coaches under Government plans to get unemployed over-50s back to work.

A government source said ministers were ‘actively looking’ at the policy and that under the plan, work coaches would hold sessions in GP surgeries, where they could reach the over-50s ‘more easily.’

According to the Telegraph, the Government is considering the proposal to ‘plug record gaps in Britain’s labour force and boost the economy.’

GPs would also refer patients who want to return to work for advice and practical help, including updating their CVs.

The Government hopes this will reach older people, who are not on benefits or are reluctant to attend job centres.

In 2016, a similar project placing job coaches in GPs surgeries was set up in North London, but campaigners protested against the programme, defined at the time as an ‘intensive and personalised employment coaching pilot scheme’, saying it would threaten the doctor-patient relationship.

Organisers behind the ‘Surgeries for Treatment, Job Centre for Jobs’ protest warned that the Working Better scheme – rolled out across six GP practices in Islington – would ‘destroy’ the trust between doctors and patients in the north London borough.

The scheme, run by Islington Council, Jobcentre Plus and NHS Islington CCG, came in response to the council’s independent employment commission, which called for employment support services to be provided in places where hard-to-help people already went – like GP surgeries.

Last month Prime Minister Rishi Sunak vowed to get hundreds of thousands of people back to work as many businesses struggle to find staff.

He said that firms were ‘crying out for workers’, with far more people, particularly the over 50s, no longer in jobs compared to previous years.

He said: ‘We must get people back to work. It is to me as a Conservative unconscionable that at a time when businesses are crying out for workers, a quarter of our labour force is inactive.’

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt also called for early retirees to return to work after a surge in early retirement since the pandemic.

In a speech he delivered last week, he said: ‘We will never harness the full potential of our country unless we unlock it for each and every one of our citizens. Nor will we fix our productivity puzzle unless everyone who can participate does.

‘So to those who retired early after the pandemic or haven’t found the right role after furlough, I say: “Britain needs you” and we will look at the conditions necessary to make work worth your while.’


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Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Hot Felon 2 February, 2023 5:49 pm


Andrew Jackson 2 February, 2023 9:17 pm

General Practice is the best place to house everyone except Drs and Nurses

Turn out The Lights 2 February, 2023 9:58 pm

Most over 50s will give the 2 finger salute to the crappy jobs offered in sweatshop Britain.They will work on their terms or not at all.Their will be a lot of unemployed Tory MPs come the next election.Anyone need their toilets cleaning will be going cheap.

Northern Trainer 3 February, 2023 1:43 am

In what spare broom cupboard in all of our expansive modern estates are we housing them??? ffs

Keith M Laycock 3 February, 2023 5:39 pm

Is there anything that GPs should not be doing?

As it is reported that overall people trust Docs more than politicians and car salesmen, perhaps GP’s should take over Parliament.

Gerald Clancy 4 February, 2023 10:28 am

Sure, if there’s spare room in the practice they can rent a space at commercial rates for patients registered at the practice with fully costed reception and overhead service charges. Feel free to ask us for a quote and don’t start wingeing about funding envelopes not allowing payment of market rates.

Gerald Clancy 4 February, 2023 10:29 am


Truth Finder 6 February, 2023 3:09 pm

Well said Keith, well said. Remember GPs should be checking for loose carpets and rags so people will not trip and check for leaking pipes too. The theme for the country is now everyone should be doing something other than doing the job they are trained to do while remaining in that job.