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Primary care

From training GPs, expanding professions such as physician associates and clinical pharmacists, to developing new roles and local support for general practice.



We work collaboratively with NHS England and Improvement, the Royal College of GPs and the British Medical Association GPs committee on specific commitments to tackle workforce issues, including the government’s commitment to deliver 50 million more appointments, 6,000 doctors and 26,000 more staff into general practice  - alongside a range of other proposals.



Key areas of HEE led work include:

As general practice continues to adapt to meet the increasing and more complex needs of local communities and wider populations, new ways of working and the development of multi professional care teams are needed in primary care.

HEE along with NHS England and Improvement have been working on the following priorities under the GPN 10 point plan as part of the 26,000 target additional roles target.    


Our General Practice Nursing Workforce Development Plan, Recognise, Rethink, Reform report in 2017, set out clear recommendations to improve the recruitment, retention and return of the general practice nursing workforce.

HEE acknowledged that there is a collective responsibility to take the recommendations forward, and since this time we have been working with NHS England on General Practice – Developing confidence, capability and capacity: a ten point action plan for General Practice Nursing. The report describes the changes required to improve recruitment and retention, and encourage the return of nurses to general practice.

More information can be found on our General Practice Nursing page.


The First Contact Practitioners and Advanced Practitioners in Primary Care, Roadmaps to Practice are supportive documents that provides a clear educational pathway from undergraduate to advanced practice for clinicians wishing to pursue a career in primary care. 


View the published roadmaps, supervision resources and more. 

Additional training time for GP trainees

GP trainees have a period of additional training time should they need, in line with other specialties and to reflect the unique challenges of the GP training programme. 

With effect from 31 January 2018, extension to training increased to 12 months with a further 6 months exceptional training.

Further details, and how this might affect individual doctors can be found in the revised 7th edition of “A reference guide for postgraduate specialty training in the UK” (known as the Gold Guide), paragraphs 4.78 - 4.80.


The GP International Induction and Return to Practice Programmes

Whether you have NHS experience or not, the GP International Induction Programme (IIP) and Return to Practice (RtP) programmes are designed to provide a safe, supported and direct route for qualified GPs to join or return to NHS General Practice.

Details of each programme are outlined on the GP National Recruitment Office (GPNRO) website


National #ChooseGP campaign

Further information can be found on the GP National Recruitment Office (GPNRO) website.

Applications for GP specialty training are open three times a year for foundation year doctors, anyone wanting to switch from other specialty training programmes, trust grade doctors and consultants.


Promoting GP in your area

You are free to use any of our marketing materials. These resources have been developed and approved by GP and NHS representatives, branded NHS for wider use.

Click here for our Choose GP video playlist including our peer to peer sessions with GPs in conversation with other practice colleagues or listen to each one on our podcast channel:  

Dr Amir Khan and Clinical Pharmacist Iram Riaz's podcast

Dr Sandy Khosla and Advanced Nurse Practitioner Julia Taylor's podcast

- Dr Elvis Martinez and Physician Associate Eunice Ashley's podcast

Access our Animated FAQ playlist here  or access our Animated GP career path playlist here


Marketing materials can be found below:

Click here for A3 GP Poster 

Click here for A4 GP Poster

Click here for A4 GP Poster (Editable) 

Click here for A4 Flyer Graphic 

Click here for A4 Flyer Images

Click here for social media banner 

Download CheeYeen's GP Career Path here

Download Louise's GP Career Path here 

Download Youssef's GP Career Path here 

Any questions? Please email gprecruitment@hee.nhs.uk 

Clinical pharmacists work as part of the general practice team to improve value and outcomes from medicines and consult with and treat patients directly. This includes providing extra help to manage long-term conditions, advice for those on multiple medicines and better access to health checks. As health professionals who train for many years to become specialists in medicines, using this role within a practice allows GPs to focus their skills where they are needed most.

Clinical Pharmacy is one of the roles in primary care supported by the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) under the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service (DES). This means that employers can apply for salary reimbursement on the understanding that the pharmacist is fully engaged with the training pathway (or has been granted exemption) and the employer is supporting them through this role. Access further information on the e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) website. 

The training pathway

Health Education England contracted the Centre For Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) to train clinical pharmacists so that they are qualified to work across primary care. The 18-month workplace-based pathway may include a further 6-month independent prescribing (IP) course if this has not been previously completed. 

More information

Find Clinical pharmacists case studies here 

FAQs, Independent prescribing and how to access training can be found on the CPPE website here  or email primarycare@cppe.ac.uk if you’d like to know more about primary care workforce opportunities.

Several other national training offers are available for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians on the HEE website here. 


We are implementing a number of initiatives to help increase the number of physician associates choosing to work in general practice including:

- educational support allowance for students

- increase in the number of hours of clinical placement in primary care

- additional preceptorship funding for employers who take on a physician associates and 

- targeted awareness raising - #AssociateYourself campaign

Find out more. 

If you’re a GP or practice manager, you’ll find a dedicated general practice employers page with access to local contacts and FAQs and free resources on the Faculty of Physician Associates here.

2016 Professor Val Wass OBE was commissioned to investigate how general practice is taught in medical schools. The resulting report ‘By choice – not by chance’, looks at students experiences and shines the spotlight on the need to tackle long held views about general practice which is often perceived as a less valued career. It emphasises that change is key to making sure we have the GP workforce required to meet service and patient demands for the future. 

The Royal College of GPs and the Medical Schools Council responded in 2017. Click to read the report Destination GP here.

Access the 2019 Fit for the Future A vision for general practice report here.

2015 The Primary Care Workforce Commission, chaired by Martin Roland CBE, published a report ‘The future of primary care: creating teams for tomorrow’ which set out the Commission’s thinking including a call for greater collaboration across organisations and a broader range of staff involved in the delivery of healthcare.

The report and its annexes, along with HEE's formal response, are available for download.

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