Expression of interest: Increasing Continuity of Care in General Practice

The Health Foundation | July 2018 | Expression of interest: Increasing Continuity of Care in General Practice

The Health Foundation have launched a new initiative- a funding programme to help improve patient care and outcomes by exploring ways to increase continuity of care within general practice.

The launch comes after research conducted by the Health Foundation  found that for patients with ambulatory care sensitive conditions, appointments with the same GP a greater proportion of the time have fewer unplanned hospital admissions (Source: The Health Foundation).

Full details and how to apply for the programme are available from The Health Foundation

Driving improvement: Case studies from GP practices

This publication from the Care Quality Commission looks at 10 GP practices that have achieved a significant improvement on their rating.

Key themes

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The practices in this report faced similar challenges. They all showed an impressive commitment to improve their service to patients. To achieve this they shared common experiences:

  • strong leadership from a practice manager with the time and skills to lead the practice team
  • addressing staffing and training issues such as poor recruitment or training practices
  • making sure every member of the practice team understood their own and others roles and responsibilities
  • involving the whole team in running the practice
  • involving patients and the local community
  • using external support to help improvement

Their experiences show that improvement in GP practices is possible. The case studies highlight some clear actions that other practices can use to help them learn and improve.

Full report: Driving improvement: Case studies from 10 GP practices

Practice closures can have ‘serious ramifications’ for patients and NHS, says RCGP

Royal College of General Practitioners | May 2018 | Practice closures can have ‘serious ramifications’ for patients and NHS, says RCGP 

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, highlights the impact of GP practices closing, as it can have  “serious ramifications for the patient population it served, neighbouring surgeries, the health and wellbeing of the GPs involved.”

Stokes- Lampard explains, “GP surgeries will only hand back their contract to the NHS as an absolute last resort – but we are hearing that this is becoming increasingly common up and down the country, but particularly in rural and other ‘under-doctored’ areas where practices are finding it more difficult to recruit new GPs.

“For those living in isolated areas, this can mean having to travel long distances to get to their nearest surgery, and is a particular worry for those who might not drive and have to rely on public transport.

“The College, for several years, has consistently highlighted the pressures facing general practice, and the impact they are having on patient care, and the wellbeing of GPs and our teams, and we are frustrated at the slow pace of change (RCGP).

The full release is at RCGP 

New £10 million fund to help retain GPs

NHS England announces new £10 million fund to support and retain GPs.

NHS England has announced a new £10 million fund to support and retain GPs. £7 million will be made available to help GPs to stay in the workforce through a new Local GP Retention Fund. Guidance for delivery of this fund is provided in Local General Practitioners Retention Fund: guidance for NHS England Regional and Local Office Teams.

A further £3 million will be made available to establish seven intensive support sites in areas that have struggled most to retain GPs.  Details on these sites and plans for retention efforts there will be announced next month.

The fund will support local health services focussing on supporting newly qualified GPs or those within their first five years of practice, who are seriously considering leaving general practice or who are no longer clinically practising in the NHS in England but remain on the National Performers List (Medical).

Full story at NHS England

Workload in general practice

Ensuring patient safety through control of workload and demand management in general practice | The British Medical Association (BMA)


General practice in England has seen consultation rates soar by nearly 14 per cent between 2007 and 2014, while the 12 months between 2016-17 saw the total number of full-time equivalent GPs fall by 3.4 per cent.

The BMA suggest that this increase in workload is because of growing patient need (complex multi-morbidity) as well as a result of the widespread recruitment and retention crisis and a lack of long-term investment in general practice. It is argued that the issue of GP workload must be addressed urgently.

This document seeks to address the current challenges in primary care.  It sets out a strategy aimed at improving safety and quality of patient care by recommending the development of agreed workload limits at a local level supported by national guidance.

Full document: Workload Control in General Practice. Ensuring Patient Safety Through Demand Management

Volunteering in general practice

Volunteering in general practice: Opportunities and insights | The Kings Fund 


The King’s Fund has published ‘Volunteering in general practice: opportunities and insights‘.  This paper explores how volunteers can provide support for the role of general practice, and the opportunities for organisations that currently support volunteering to work more closely with general practice.

Publication overview:

  • Interest is growing in the contribution that volunteering can make in health and social care. This paper builds on our previous work, which examined volunteering in hospitals, to explore ways in which volunteers are involved with, and are contributing to, general practice.
  • The authors identify four approaches to supporting volunteering in general practice: use of volunteers to enable general practice to carry out its activities; organisations using volunteer support that were located within general practice premises; social prescribing; and community-centred general practices.
  • 10 case studies are explored, which demonstrate that approaches to supporting volunteering in general practice provide an opportunity for practices to engage beyond their traditional boundaries, creating an interface with voluntary and community sector organisations and with the wider community.
  • The practice examples highlight the importance of partnership work to support and sustain volunteering, the different design and resource considerations in choosing an appropriate approach, the support and management requirements for volunteers and strategic factors that influence success and sustainability.

Full document:   Volunteering in general practice: opportunities and insights.