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Primary and community care

Health Education England is working to develop modern multi-disciplinary teams in primary and community care. From training GPs, expanding professions such as physician associates and clinical pharmacists to developing new roles including medical assistants, we will help to shape the primary care workforce of the future.

Developing the primary care workforce

We have been working closely with NHS England, Royal College of GPs and the British Medical Association GPs committee to ensure that we have a skilled, trained and motivated workforce in general practice and wider primary care.

In collaboration with these partners, we produced Building the Workforce: A new deal for general practice GP Ten Point Plan) which outlined a series of actions to address immediate issues of GP recruitment. We have undertaken initial steps towards this and towards building the workforce for future models of care.

This work is part of the implementation of the Five Year Forward View, which set out a specific commitment to tackle workforce issues, alongside a range of other proposals. These actions are designed to complement some of the local initiatives already underway, which will also be accelerated through the development of co-commissioning of primary care by Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS England.

Current strands of work that HEE is leading on:

In addition, we are supporting partners to retain doctors within general practice, in particular:

  • Investment in retainer schemes
  • Improving the training capacity in general practice
  • Incentives to remain in practice
  • New ways of working


Primary Care Workforce Commission

The Secretary of State for Health, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, commissioned us to establish an independent Primary Care Workforce Commission, chaired by Martin Roland CBE, Professor of Health Services Research, University of Cambridge. Through a literature review, call for evidence, site visits and panel meetings, the Commission identified and highlighted innovative models of primary care that will meet the future needs of patients and the NHS. Read more about the Primary Care Workforce Commission

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General Practice Nursing

Improving training in GP practice settings and raising the profile of the role is vital to helping to retain and expand the General Practice Nursing workforce.

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The General Practice Forward View, published in April 2016, sets out a plan, backed by a multi-billion pound investment, to stabilise and transform general practice.

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Retaining doctors within general practice

Working with key partners, a number of new initiatives will be developed to invest, train and incentivise doctors to remain in general practice. As part of this, new ways of working will be developed to support the workforce of the future.

Read more