Written evidence submitted by Dr Spooner (FGP0175)

This submission draws on a substantial programme of research and is supplied in response to a Call for Evidence by the Health and Social Care Committee, Commons Select Committee, regarding their inquiry to explore the future of NHS general practice, December 2021. The research was carried out by researchers at University of Manchester and this document was prepared by Dr Sharon Spooner, Division of Population Health. Health Services Research and Primary Care, University of Manchester      sharon.spooner@manchester.ac.uk

This submission chiefly addresses the following aspects of the inquiry:

  1. What are the main challenges facing general practice in the next 5 years?
  2. How can the current model of general practice be improved to make it more sustainable in the long term?

In particular: To what extent has general practice been able to work in effective partnerships with other professions within primary care and beyond to free more GP time for patient care?

 

It is widely recognised that in general practice, delivery of effective and safe healthcare can be jeopardised by a persistent shortage of highly trained and experienced clinical staff.

 

Research projects

  1. The 9th National GP Worklife survey. Completed 2017. Commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care and carried out by the Manchester Centre for Health Economics at the University of Manchester on behalf of the Policy Research Unit in Commissioning and the Healthcare System (PRUComm).

PRUComm is funded by the NIHR Policy Research Programme. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England or other Arms’ Length Bodies.

  1. Investigation of the factors behind the training choices of junior doctors which result in inadequate recruitment to general practice careers. Completed March 2017 Funded at the University of Manchester by the School for Primary Care Research. Grant reference 260.
  2. Title: An investigation of factors which are associated with successful transitions from GP Specialty Training Programmes to long-term careers in NHS general practice Completed October 2018 Funded at the University of Manchester by the School for Primary Care Research. Grant reference 354.
  3. An investigation of the scale, scope and impact of skill mix change in primary care Completed December 2020. Funded at the University of Manchester by NIHR HS&DR programme HS&DR 17/08/25 

Final Report in press. First look Summary available via https://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/programmes/hsdr/170825/#/

Acknowledgement and disclaimer : Studies 2, 3 & 4 are funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Services & Delivery Research (HS&DR) programme (Project number 17/08/25) and NIHR School for Primary Care Research. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.

 

References

GIBSON, J., SUTTON, M., SPOONER, S. & CHECKLAND, K. 2018. . Ninth National GP Worklife Survey. Available at https://prucomm.ac.uk/projects/completed-projects/ninth-national-gp-worklife-survey.html.

HS&DR - 17/08/25. An investigation of the scale, scope and impact of skill mix change in primary care [Online]. Available: https://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/programmes/hsdr/170825/#/ .

SPOONER, S. 2017. Investigation of the factors behind the training choices of junior doctors which result in inadequate recruitment to general practice careers. NIHR SPCR website.

SPOONER, S., LAVERTY, L. & CHECKLAND, K. 2019. The influence of training experiences on career intentions of the future GP workforce: a qualitative study of new GPs in England. Br J Gen Pract, 69, e578-e585.

SPOONER, S., PEARSON, E., GIBSON, J. & CHECKLAND, K. 2017. How do workplaces, working practices and colleagues affect UK doctors’ career decisions? A qualitative study of junior doctors’ career decision making in the UK. BMJ Open, 7, 10, p.e018462.

December 2021