An increase in GP numbers alone is not enough to solve the workforce pressures in primary care, according to the NHS Confederation and National Association of Primary Care.
The organisations, which represent healthcare managers and primary care professional respectively, are calling for an alternative approach to workforce planning, in a joint response to a commission by national training body Health Education England on workforce and models of primary care. The commission, chaired by Martin Roland, professor of health services research at the University of Cambridge, has been tasked with identifying and highlighting innovative models of primary care that will meet the future needs of patients and the NHS.
The joint response states that “medium to long-term planning for the primary care workforce requires a patient-centred and population-based approach if it is to be effective” and that such an approach “must be underpinned by enhanced skills-mix, new capabilities, and regulatory and training curriculum change, supported by financial modelling”.
The joint response sets out innovative ways of working that take a population health management approach and to better meet the needs of patients. This includes on-the-spot screening on the high street, improving data for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease care and a new outreach role for receptionists.