Addressing Long-Term Workforce Challenges in General Practice in Greater Manchester: The Greater Manchester primary care workforce study

What are we doing?

Working in partnership with the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSCP) in collaboration with the ten GM Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to investigate long-term workforce challenges in general practice across the region, in line with the Workforce Strategy of the GM Health and Social Care Partnership. The project will aim to

  • Gain a better understanding of the numbers and composition of the primary care workforce across GM
  • Investigate the challenges associated with the recruitment and retention of GPs across the region
  • Explore the introduction of new ‘non-medical’ roles within primary care and the barriers to introducing these roles


Why is it important?

At present, we do not have a clear understanding of the current workforce landscape or the associated challenges facing GM general practices. By addressing the knowledge gaps identified and feeding back to relevant partners, including CCGs and primary care commissioners, we can provide meaningful guidance for the development of the primary care workforce in GM.


How will we do it?          

This project will consist of four work packages

  • Work package 1: Baseline scoping

Working with data provided by NHS Digital and Health Education England, we will first aim to acquire and analyse a baseline measure of the current numbers and composition of staff currently working in primary care in GM. This will include a breakdown of the numbers of GPs, Nurses, Direct Patient Care staff, and Admin staff reported in six rounds of NHS digital data collection across the 10 CCGs.

  • Work package 2: Investigating barriers to recruitment and retention of GPs

To investigate the challenges to recruitment and retention of GPs, the project team will conduct interviews with staff from CCGs, GP Federations, and other relevant stakeholders. Additionally we will aim to conduct a number of focus groups with current GP trainees to investigate the barriers to entering general practice following completion of GP training. A GP work-life survey will also be conducted within GM to provide more information on the current issues with working in primary care.

  • Work package 3: The introduction of new roles

An additional set of interviews will be conducted with commissioners and other staff closely involved with the introduction and uptake of new ‘non-medical’ roles within primary care, such as Physician Associates, Community Pharmacists, and Advanced Practitioners.

  • Work package 4: Feedback

All work conducted within the first three work packages will be fed back to relevant stakeholders via dedicated meetings with new and established GM-wide workforce collaboratives, including the GP Advisory Group (GPAG), GP workforce reference group, GP federations, and GP workforce collaborative.


Who are we working with?


NHS England


The 10 Clinical Commissioning Groups across Greater Manchester:

NHS Bolton CCG


NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG

NHS Manchester CCG

NHS Oldham CCG

NHS Salford CCG

NHS Stockport CCG

NHS Tameside and Glossop CCG

NHS Trafford CCG

NHS Wigan Borough CCG


Dowloadable resources



More Information

For further information please contact Susan Howard (Programme Manager), Pauline Nelson (Principle Investigator)

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