GP partnership review: final report

Department of Health and Social Care | January 2019 | GP partnership review: final report

GP partnership review: final details the findings of the review and makes final recommendations to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and to the CEO of NHS England.

The review has engaged with GPs and others with an interest to look for solutions to reinvigorate the partnership model and support the transformation of general practice.

Case Studies is an accompaniment to the report, it has been developed to share examples of different business models that general practice partnerships are using (Source: Department of Health and Social Care).

GP partnership review: final report

GP partnership review: case studies, business models

GP premises: the patient perspective

Patients Association | January 2019 | GP premises: the patient perspective

Confidentiality, accessibility of the GP practice and travelling to the GP practices were all key issues identified in GP premises: the patient perspective- the report from the Patients Association. 

720 Patients’ views were obtained through four focus groups and an online survey. Over half (56 %) of the participants surveyed mentioned a lack of confidentiality, that is being overheard in the waiting room while speaking the receptionist or when telephoning the practice as being an issue; as privacy is “not good”.

Responses to the survey and focus groups, indicate that 58% (404 of 692 respondents to this question) said that there was not enough space at the practice to allow reasonable privacy.

Access issues were concerns for patients, almost half (46 per cent) noted the absence of a lift at their GP practice, although three-quarters noted an accessible ramp. Other issues raised included:

  • No lift and the corridors are narrow
  • Doctors having to come downstairs to see patients
  • Difficulties in moving around the buildings in wheelchairs
  • Difficulties in being able to get into the building easily or get to the reception desk due to lack of space to turn and manoeuvre.

For 40 per cent of patients the environment was problematic- they stated that this causes feelings of stress and anxiety (Source:  Patients Association).

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GP premises: the patient perspective [press release]

Patients’ Views on making best use of GP premises 

NHS to recruit doctors from ‘Down Under’

NHS England | October 2018 |NHS to recruit doctors from ‘Down Under’

NHS England is extending its recruitment drive to Australia in a bid to boost GP numbers. The drive will focus on encouraging British GPs who have relocated to Australia but are now looking to return home as well as Australian doctors who are interested in working in the NHS (Source: NHS England).


Dominic Hardy, NHS England’s Director of Primary Care Delivery, said: “It’s no secret the NHS needs to recruit more GPs, so it makes sense to head to Australia where doctors’ skills, training and high levels of care closely match those of their British counterparts.

“The recruitment programme is gathering momentum with interest from GPs in Europe and we also have more home-grown GPs in training than ever before. But why stop there when we know many Australians would welcome the opportunity to work in an English clinical practice?”

Read the full news release at NHS England 

Extra support pledged for GPs this winter

NHS England has announced it will provide £10 million to GPs to support delivery of additional extended hours, out of hours and unscheduled care sessions over winter.


The Winter Indemnity Scheme will be used to cover the costs of professional indemnity for the extra services provided by GPs, giving them the freedom to work extra sessions securely and without extra costs. This is the fourth year that NHS England has funded the successful winter indemnity scheme, having first introduced it in 2015-16.

Having committed £10 million to support the initiative, NHS England will be monitoring uptake across GP practices, out of hours services, NHS 111 and urgent care service providers, to evaluate the scheme’s impact.

Full story at NHS England

Clinical Pharmacists save GP five hours, finds small study

OnMedica | September 2018 | Practice-based pharmacists free up GP time

A small study published in the British Journal of General Practice finds that pharmacists based in GP Practices can save 5 hours of prescribing work a week for GPs.  The study identified further benefits to clinical pharmacists working at practices, such as having a positive impact on patient safety, staff morale, and staff stress. The research sought to address a gap in the literature as the impact of clinical pharmacists on GP practices, it investigated the effects of  clinical pharmacists in 16 urban practices  Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Scotland  (via OnMedica).



Background General practice in the UK is experiencing a workforce crisis. However, it is unknown what impact prescribing support teams may have on freeing up GP capacity and time for clinical activities.

Aim To release GP time by providing additional prescribing resources to support general practices between April 2016 and March 2017.

Design and setting Prospective observational cohort study in 16 urban general practices that comprise Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership in Scotland.

Method GPs recorded the time they spent dealing with special requests, immediate discharges, outpatient requests, and other prescribing issues for 2 weeks prior to the study and for two equivalent periods during the study. Specialist clinical pharmacists performed these key prescribing activities to release GP time and Read coded their activities. GP and practice staff were surveyed to assess their expectations at baseline and their experiences during the final data-collection period. Prescribing support staff were also surveyed during the study period.

Results GP time spent on key prescribing activities significantly reduced by 51% (79 hours, P less than 0.001) per week, equating to 4.9 hours  per week per practice. The additional clinical pharmacist resource was well received and appreciated by GPs and practices. As well as freeing up GP capacity, practices and practitioners also identified improvements in patient safety, positive effects on staff morale, and reductions in stress. Prescribing support staff also indicated that the initiative had a positive impact on job satisfaction and was considered sustainable, although practice expectations and time constraints created new challenges.

Conclusion Specialist clinical pharmacists are safe and effective in supporting GPs and practices with key prescribing activities in order to directly free GP capacity. However, further work is required to assess the impact of such service developments on prescribing cost-efficiency and clinical pharmacist medication review work.


Full reference: Maskrey, M.,  JohnsonC. F.,  Cormack, J.,  RyanM.,  &  Macdonald, H. | 2018 | Releasing GP capacity with pharmacy prescribing support and New Ways of Working: a prospective observational cohort study | 

Read the full paper at British Journal of General Practice 

New guidance to help you with reflection

General Medical Council | September 2018| New guidance to help you with reflection

The GMC has published new guidance which emphasises the importance of reflection to support  personal development and learning. 

This short guide supports medical students, doctors in training and doctors engaging in revalidation on how to reflect as part of their practice. It has been developed jointly by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the UK Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans (COPMeD), the General Medical Council (GMC), and the Medical Schools Council.



The guidance highlights key advice on being a reflective practitioner, including:

  • Reflective notes do not need to capture full factual details of an experience. They should focus on the learning or actions taken from a case or situation.
  • Reflection is personal and there is no one way to reflect.
  • Having time to reflect on both positive and negative experiences is important.
  • Group reflection often leads to ideas that can improve patient care.
  • Tutors, supervisors, appraisers and employers should support individual and group reflection (Source: GMC)

Related: GMC Reflective Practice