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Primary care

Training multi-disciplinary teams ready to work in primary and community care.

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:

The general practice nursing workforce must be at the forefront of leading change by delivering better health outcomes in primary care, and by making primary care ‘the place to be’ for ambitious nurses who deliver world class care and support our population to live well. In our mandate, we were asked to help recruit 5,000 additional multi-professional staff in primary care. 

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

We have produced a short film showcasing a day in the life of a general practice nurse, including the array of activities and procedures their day may include.

The introduction of Musculoskeletal First Contact Practitioners (FCP) is a key element of NHS England’s approach to improving patient care and easing the pressure on GP surgeries. MSK conditions account for 20 per cent of a GP's caseload, FCP services place advanced musculoskeletal (MSK) practitioners in primary care teams and at the start of the patient’s pathway, enabling them to assess, diagnose and manage MSK patients. They are able to provide timely care to patients and increase GP capacity overall.

The Musculoskeletal First Contact Practitioners Services - Implementation Guide has been developed as a 'how-to' for introducing these new roles in your area, covering capability frameworks, governance issues and practical advice that draws on case studies in areas already offering the service.

View and download the Musculoskeletal First Contact Practitioners - Implementation Guide here

With the backing of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) the British Medical Association (BMA) GPs committee and NHS England, our campaign One career, endless opportunities #Choose GP is at the heart of our work.

The campaign aims to promote the challenge and benefits of learning generalist skills, being able to apply all aspects of medical training with the opportunity to pursue special interests and tailor a unique career in primary care.

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.

We have a number of GPs and trainees who are able to help with local or general enquiries.

Email gprecruitment@hee.nhs.uk to be put in contact.

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


National #ChooseGP campaign

'One career, endless opportunities. Choose GP' promotes the benefits of training for a career as a GP, the Choose GP page can be accessed here. 

Email gprecruitment@hee.nhs.uk for more information.


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

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


Targeted GP training scheme

Coming to an end in 2021, this scheme, follows the same standards and outcomes as the GP Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) and is suitable for doctors who may require additional support. From January 2018, training extensions were increased to 12 months additional training with a further 6 months exceptional training.

Click here to find out more about the scheme.


GP Induction and refresher scheme

Whether you have NHS experience or not, the GP Induction and Refresher scheme is designed to provide a safe, supported and direct route for qualified GPs to join or return to NHS general practice.

Click here for local office contact details or email iandr@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 Role 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.

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.