GP scheme frees up half a million hours for patients

NHS England | April 2019 | GP scheme frees up half a million hours for patients

The Time for Care programme- a programme to help practice teams manage their workload, adopt and spread innovations that free-up clinical time for care, and develop the skills and confidence to lead local improvement- has enabled GP practices to find more time for patients during the last year.



The programme, which will now be rolled out across the country after success in pilot sites, such as in Pickering, North Yorkshire and  Chiswick Health Practice, Hounslow;  has been extended for three years beyond its initial March 2019 end date and aims to cover three quarters of GP practices by 2022.

The saving of 205,00 clinical hours is the equivalent of 1.23 million GP appointments of 10 minutes each. At an average of £30 an appointment, that represents close to £40 million in time saved. If the same number of clinical hours saved are achieved over the next three years, it would represent around 3.7 million GP appointments – or around £110 million in terms of appointment time saved (Source: NHS England).

Further details are available from NHS England

See also:

NHS England  Releasing time for care

GP scheme frees up half a million hours for patients

Royal College of General Practitioners Time for Care ‘one part’ of much bigger solution that is needed on GP workforce and workload

BBC News More GP appointments available due to success of pilot scheme

GP contract directions 2019 to 2020

Department of Health and Social Care | March 2019 | GP contract directions 2019 to 2020

The Department of Health and Social Care has released guidance  setting out the legal framework under which GPs operate and are paid.

The primary medical services (directed enhanced services) directions 2019

The general medical services statement of financial entitlements (amendment) directions 2019

The general medical services statement of financial entitlements (payment in respect of indemnity fees) direction 2019

Full details from the Department of Health and Social Care

Campaign to attract GPs to return to general practice

Health Education England & NHS Return| March 2019 | Campaign to attract GPs to return to general practice

Health Education England (HEE) and NHS England have launched a new campaign to encourage GPs to return to practice. The GP Induction and Refresher (I&R) Scheme provides a safe, supported and direct route for qualified GPs to join or return to NHS general practice in England. 

The scheme is open to qualified GPs working abroad or living overseas, who may even be able to start the scheme before returning to England.

General Practitioners on the scheme can expect:
  • a placement bursary of up to £3,500 a month
  • help towards indemnity costs and other fees
  • a dedicated account manager
  • a tailored programme to meet learning needs, experiences and personal commitments
  • access to training and development support
  • no fees for I&R assessments or the Portfolio Route
  • up to four fully funded attempts at the I&R assessments
  • relocation support for GPs relocating from overseas up to £18,500
  • help with visa costs and sponsorship for non-EEA clinicians
  • options to complete most parts of the scheme before moving back to England, if you are living overseas.

Full details of the scheme are available from the NHS Return website

Return brochures can be downloaded from NHS England

Further details from HEE 

In the news:

OnMedica Campaign to attract former GPs back to general practice

Of interest:

OnMedica  BMA sees hope for rebuild of general practice

Only half of practices considered their premises to be fit for present needs

BMA | February 2019 | Only half of practices considered their premises to be fit for present needs

The BMA survey on General Practice (GP) premises was open to complete online in Autumn (from 31 October to 21 November 2018), 1000 GP practices participated in the survey and the BMA received a good response from across England. 

The key survey findings:

  • Only half of practices considered their premises to be fit for present needs (this figure is lower than when last asked in 2005 when 60% thought their premises were fit for present needs)
  • This number falls to just over 2 in 10 practices when asked if they thought their premises was fit for the future(population growth) (this is very similar to when asked in 2005).
  • The last significant modification or extension to premises took place in the mid-2000s (2005), on average, pre-dating many of the increases in patient demand and population growth witnessed over the last decade.
  • Following successful application, some practices reported waiting as little as one month to received improvement grant funding while others up to around one year (Source: BMA).

Read the press release Half of GP practice buildings not fit for purpose, BMA survey reveals

You can read the survey results from the BMA website

NHS England: NHS body could help struggling ‘last partner standing’ practices

Pulse | January 2019 | NHS England: NHS body could help struggling ‘last partner standing’ practices

The ‘last partner standing’ – also known as ‘last man standing’ – indicates a situation in which one partner finds themselves bearing all the liabilities and obligations owned by the practice, after unsuccessful attempts to find new partners. Now Pulse reports that NHS England could take on the lease of practices that find themselves in this situation.

NHS England director of primary care workforce and infrastructure Ian Biggs recently presented the emerging themes of the upcoming General Practice Premises Policy Review at the Westminster Health Forum Event in London.

Mr Biggs said talks with the BMA GP Committee and the RCGP are ongoing but solutions – which include the introduction of a body that could shoulder the lease of practices in ‘last partner standing’ situations – are being explored (Source: Pulse).

Read the full story at Pulse 

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).

Image source:


GP premises: the patient perspective [press release]

Patients’ Views on making best use of GP premises