Workforce resources

The General Practice Improvement Leaders Programme is a free training programme designed for GPs, practice managers, nurses, project managers and facilitators working in general practice to support the GP Forward View.

The programme provided by NHS England’s Sustainable Improvement team offers step-by-step tools and techniques to help build skills and confidence to lead service redesign in general practice.

The programme incorporates interactive training workshops, personal reading and reflection, and action learning as participants lead a change project in their own workplace. Participants gain new perspectives, skills and confidence in using improvement science in general practice, and leading colleagues and teams through change. The approach has been successful with general practice clinicians and managers of hugely varying experience (from GP registrars and newly appointed managers to very experienced staff).

For more information download the General Practice Improvement Leaders Programme leaflet or visit the NHS England website at

The programme benefits include:

  • Personal development: how to deliver change and engage people in the process
  • Building local capability: apply new skills and knowledge to support your own practice and wider local area in achieving its goals
  • Potential to accelerate change locally by working on your chosen improvement project focused around one of the 10 High Impact Actions for general practice
  • Learning alongside others from general practice and become part of a wider improvers network

To get the most out of the programme, participants are invited to choose an improvement project to begin working on. It could be a problem or issue that you are wanting to address. Some examples that delegates have worked on include document management to free up clinical time, repeat prescribing/dispensing processes, group consultations, care navigation and repeat medication reviews/follow ups. If your project idea is a larger ambition (e.g. primary care at scale), it is strongly recommended that you choose an aspect of this to focus on for your application.

The programme is modular and consists of up to six days in total, completed over three to four months. Each module builds personal learning and the ability to help others use quality improvement techniques.

  • Module 1: Fundamentals of change and improvement (2 days). The key components needed for successful change and practical tools and techniques for making improvements, including developing a meaningful aim, measurement for improvement, identifying opportunities for improvement, and generating, prioritising and testing ideas. Delegates will have the opportunity to apply learning to their own project.
  • Module 2: Human dimensions of change (2 days). Motivating and mobilising others, working together to make changes. Part of this module will include understanding the values and motivations of ourselves and others, as well as helping building effective relationships; how to communicate well in conflict.
  • Module 3: Facilitation and presentation skills (2 days). Approaches to use when working with groups including building confidence in presenting, group dynamics and common facilitation scenarios, where interventions are needed to achieve a successful outcome from group work. Creative thinking techniques will help delegates move projects on when they have become ‘stuck’ and understand the different types of feedback and tips that can be used to help provide effective feedback.

No prior knowledge of managing change or quality improvement is needed to join the programme.

The Greater Manchester Training Hub’s mission is to raise the profile of general practice through engagement, education, experience and expansion.

The Greater Manchester Training Hub provides exposure and breadth of placement experience for healthcare undergraduates through a ‘hub’ and ‘spoke’ model approach. In turn, recruiting and retaining a future healthcare workforce.

Designed to also meet the educational needs of the multi-disciplinary primary care team, the Greater Manchester Training Hub brings together NHS organisations, community providers and local authorities.

The Greater Manchester Training Hub is a collaboration of four local training hubs, providing support for general practice around workforce development and retention. This collaboration has ensured full coverage of the Greater Manchester area as well as providing across the board standards and procedures.

Each local training hub is guided by an experienced educator, offering multi-professional learning, development and experience.

Connect with Greater Manchester Training Hub

This guidance provides an overview of how to set up remote working and video consultations as part of a wider model of triage first and remote consultations in primary care.

This will support the plan for the recovery process, and allow primary care clinicians to assess people while minimising the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for patients and staff.

Download Guide to setting up remote working and video consultations

The guidance describes four main models of working:

  1. Work From Home allows clinicians to support the practice and patients remotely from their own home through video. This is particularly useful if clinicians are self-isolating, need to be shielded or as part of a return to work scheme under the current COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Clinic to Clinic remote hubs allow clinics to support branch sites or other practices within a locality who are struggling to meet demand.
  3. Clinic in Clinic remote hubs allow clinicians to work within practices conducting video consultations routinely. Examples of this include direct patient consultations and virtual ward rounds with care homes.
  4. Hot Hub remote clinics allow multiple clinicians and other community specialists within a locality to work together to provide a service. This can also reduce pressure on hospitals because patients presenting with potential COVID-19 can be reviewed and managed effectively in the community where appropriate

Video consultations are becoming increasingly prevalent and popular. Patients want easy access to healthcare and doctors want to protect themselves, and patients, from catching infections.

Download Handbook for video consultations

All consultations, face to face or video, need to maintain safety, confidentiality and the patient-doctor relationship. This guide aims to provide clinicians with some guidance on how to modify their usual history taking and examination techniques to ensure a safe and effective consultation for clinicians working via a webcam.

Whilst many primary care consultations can be undertaken safely remotely, where there is an unacceptable level of uncertainty or risk, a referral to a different setting is required.

Inspire attract and recruit: An interactive toolkit to support your workforce supplyThis interactive toolkit developed by NHS Employers is for HR professionals, recruitment teams and managers in the NHS to help you inspire, attract and recruit your future workforce.

Download Inspire attract and recruit: An interactive toolkit to support your workforce supply

The toolkit contains guidance, top tips and best practice examples on:

  • understanding your workforce supply and your audience
  • the importance of being a leading employer and attracting the right people to your organisation
  • simplifying and improving your recruitment processes to create a positive candidate experience.

This toolkit will help you reflect and consider what you and your organisation can do to help improve your workforce supply, along with practical information on how to get started.

The National Workforce Reporting System is run by NHS Digital to collect and present Primary Care workforce based data.

The System is made up of two modules accessible at

The data entry module is an update of the former workforce census module, which is where general practices can add their workforce information, to fulfil their requirements for the workforce Minimum Data Set (wMDS).

The reporting module contains a suite of reports containing published, non-identifiable, GP workforce data supplied by GP practices. Functionality of the module includes:

  • Ability to tailor reports to the user requirements, based on, staff group, job role, age and gender.
  • Access to data for each census back to September 2015
  • Downloadable charts and supporting data
  • Data quality reports to quickly, and easily, identify practices with data quality issues

Users of the Primary Care Web Tool who require access to the National Workforce Reporting System should register to use the service by clicking here. Your practice permissions should migrate with you when you create a new user account.

The NHS Leadership Academy offers leadership development resources for individuals and organisations in the NHS, including the healthcare leadership model, a talent management conversation tool and coaching register.

The Academy website provides access to a range of useful leadership development and quality improvement resources.

The Academy work is founded on simple and well proven leadership development principles to support leaders to:

  • be at their most effective they need confidence in their role
  • secure confidence they need competence, skills, expertise, experience and support
  • have a breadth of behaviours to draw on to exercise their role in a multi-agency, complex system such as health care.  Lack of development tends to result in leaders having a very narrow range of styles to draw on.
  • develop the right behaviours to build alliances with a wide range of professionals and across organisational boundaries to serve the needs of diverse communities with enduringly complex needs, and
  • engage and empower those working with them, and rely less on old style command and control approaches that inhibit innovation, discretionary effort and a more caring and considerate climate to work that generate both employee engagement and compassion in care.

Productive General Practice (PGP) Quick Start is an on-site, hands-on, short term support package for practices that forms part of a local Time for Care programme. Alongside the 10 High Impact Actions the support package provided by NHS England’s Sustainable Improvement team aims to help practices release time for care and build improvement capability.

The programme offers hands on support in your practice from an experienced improvement facilitator. Support is given over an eight week period and includes sessions with other local practice teams to share improvements and ideas. The focus is on fast, practical improvement to help reduce pressures and release efficiencies within general practices.

For more information download the PGP Quick Start – information sheet or visit the NHS England website at

Practices who have already rolled out the programme have reported:

  •  significant time savings for clinical and administrative staff
  • improved skills in managing change and quality improvement meaning change can happen at a greater pace
  • positive changes in team dynamics, how teams see their problem areas and how they work together to overcome them.

Practices are working to find similar small scale improvements which contribute to significant time saving. The video below illustrates how practice teams in Bury have benefitted from the PGP Quick Start progamme.



Practices usually work on two modules from the following options.

  • Frequent Attenders – set up a focused, speedy, regular review of high attenders. Leads to different approaches for the individual patient and also for the practice in general.
  • Appropriate Appointments – explores what opportunities there are to ensure the patient sees the right person, first time. Links to the national ‘Avoidable Appointments audit tool’.
  • Common Approach – expose unhelpful variation in approach that causes extra effort. Helps develop a common approach to service delivery.
  • Team Planning – high level assessment of peaks and troughs in practice capacity and in activity. The practice looks at the profile of holidays, training and external meetings to reduce stress on the practice at peak times.
  • Well Organised Practice – save time by creating a more efficient working environment. A place for everything and everything in its place.
  • Efficient Processes – redesign everyday processes such as repeat prescriptions that regularly cause staff frustration.
  • Clear Job Standards – use visual management techniques to ensure regular activities are completed on time, every time. Identify team training needs.
  • Emails, Meetings and Interruptions – save time by reviewing how effectively you communicate in the practice. How effective are those meetings? Do we all need to see those emails? Why am I interrupted so often by people and tasks?

Has your practice considered becoming a Tier 2 sponsorship license holder? This licence will allow you to employ non-EEA workers, which can help support clinical recruitment and retention as follows:

  • Many practices have been carrying vacancies for a considerable length of time and this provides an additional source of candidates
  • It is a way of keeping good GP Trainees locally. ST3s qualify at two points in each year (Feb & Aug). A proportion of doctors training to be GPs locally require a Tier 2 visa to be able to continue to live and work in the UK (in June 2018, there were over 400 non-EEA GP Registrars nationally)
  • There are other GPs already working in the UK on a Tier 2 visa who may wish to change employers and will need a sponsor
  • Australian and New Zealand GPs who are now applying to the International GP Recruitment Programme will need a Tier 2 visa to live and work in the UK (this will expand to USA and Canada). Interest from these countries has already been high
  • Other roles in general practice may require sponsorship in future
  • Due to Brexit, we are unsure what will happen from an immigration point of view and securing a license may help to future-proof your practice
  • Your 4-year licence means you are ready to go if you already know you are going to have a further vacancy in the near future e.g. from planned retirement – and means you can already widen your applicant pool

The application process can seem daunting/complex, so the national NHS England team are offering both administrative and financial support to organisations (costs relating to sponsorship are reimbursed).

Please click on the links below to view guidance documentation regarding the application process for Tier 2 sponsors:

Tier 2 FAQs & Guidance

Visa Reimbursement Form V1.0

Tier 2 DoH Guide

Tier 2 Visa Application Guide

Remote consultations are becoming increasingly prevalent and popular. Patients want easy access to healthcare and doctors want to protect themselves, and patients, from catching infections.

Download Remote consultations handbook

All consultations, face to face or remote, need to maintain safety, confidentiality and the patient-doctor relationship. This guide aims to provide clinicians with some guidance on how to modify their usual history taking and examination techniques to enable a productive and safe remote consultation via webcam or telephone.

Whilst the majority of primary care consultations can be undertaken safely remotely, where there is an unacceptable level of uncertainty or risk, a referral to a different setting is required.

The Time for Care programme is at the heart of the General Practice Forward View’s support for practices to redesign their care and manage demand more sustainably.

Using a variety of means this initiative provided by the NHS England Sustainable Improvement team will give every practice in England the chance to learn about proven innovations that release time for care.

For more information download the Learning in action information sheet or visit the NHS England website at at