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This Primary Care Survival Toolkit is aimed at health professionals working in general practice who want to build resilience as individuals and as employers. The support highlighted in this toolkit draws on offerings from the NCL Training Hub, NCL Integrated Care Board (ICB), and General Practice Provider Alliance (GPPA). It ranges from capacity management to wellness to long term career development. We hope that these resources will help support primary care professionals to cope with the systemic and seasonal pressures that they face.  

It is the intention that this page will be continuously updated, and we welcome your feedback on its contents.

For any practical support on progressing any of these aspects in this Toolkit, please feel free to contact your Training Hub Borough Programme Manager. If you don’t know who your Training Hub Borough Programme Manager is, visit our About Us pages and view the page for your local Training Hub. If links do not work or if you are aware of resources that have not been included, please provide feedback to nclicb.nclth@nhs.net.

Workload Support

GP State of Emergencyemergency guidance to help practice staff to manage an increasing workload, requests for un-resourced work, identify and communicate with patients about activities that aren’t covered by core contracts.

LMC letter template - to explain that due to extreme workforce pressures GPs are prioritising work that falls within their Contract and are unable to take on secondary care work.  

BMA letter templates - to help GP practices push back on inappropriate workload from ICBs, prescribers, hospitals and your area team.

Beam to LMC App - Londonwide LMCs’ mobile application helps hard-pressed GPs and practice teams highlight the pressure they’re under from commissioners and others by allowing them to share those requests in real time.  

Consider checking the Workplace Planning and Recruitment sections below, to consider how the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) might be able to assist with practice workload for example by taking on a GP Assistant.

Coaching and Mentoring

Mentorship, leadership development - available to First Five and mid-career GPs this mentoring scheme is an opportunity to build networks, improve job satisfaction and retention in general practice for both mentees and mentors.

Londonwide Local Medical Committees - GP Professional Support Network which offers peer to peer professional advice and support and includes: GP Support services to GPs and their Practices; Supporting a return to work after maternity leave; Educational Supervision; Clinical Supervision Educational Support; Professional Coaching; and Talking Therapy Support.

The Professional Support Unit (PSU) is a free service primarily dedicated to supporting the progression of postgraduate training for NHS healthcare professionals. We work independently of Specialty Schools, training Programme or Trusts and can offer confidential and impartial support or advice for those who need it.

Royal College of Nursing: Career Coaching - The RCN Careers Service offers two types of coaching: interview coaching and career coaching. Members can have up to 3 telephone Career Coaching sessions in a 6 month period. 

Wellbeing and Resilience

Please look at our staff wellbeing section for additional up to date resources and events: Health and Wellbeing

Londonwide Local Medical Committees - GP Professional Support Network which offers peer to peer professional advice and support and includes: GP Support services to GPs and their Practices; Supporting a return to work after maternity leave; Educational Supervision; Clinical Supervision Educational Support; Professional Coaching; and Talking Therapy Support.

LMC Lunchtime Wellbeing Seminars - 40-minute webinars for GPs aim to improve the emotional and psychological health of staff by supporting them in finding personal strategies, tools, and coping mechanisms.

NHSE – Support for all NHS staff - staff mental health and wellbeing initiatives that seeks to connect and support the health and social care workforce. They include a range of support including peer-to-peer support, return to work advice, coaching and talking therapy support.

NHS Professionals Wellbeing Hub - resources, ideas and guidance to help manage mental health and wellbeing.  

North Central London Integrated Schwartz Rounds - multidisciplinary forum designed for staff to come together once a month to discuss and reflect on the emotional and social challenges associated with working in health and social care.

Practitioner health support – free, confidential NHS primary care mental health and addiction service with expertise in treating health and care professionals.   

Good Thinking - resources to help Londoners improve their mental wellbeing.

The Healthcare Workers’ Foundation – Free counselling sessions offered to those working in a healthcare setting, including general practice, dentistry, optometry pharmacy.

Peer Led Mindfulness - This is a peer-led initiative on Teams with 15-minute sessions on Tuesdays at 12:00 and a 30-minute session on Fridays at 10:00. No need to register, simply join via the Teams Link  

Resilient Team Academy Membership  - Subscribe to access core Shapes Toolkit training, bitesize videos and team building activities. 

NHSE - Supporting your physical health and wellbeing – Physical health and wellbeing support to NHS staff.  

BMA Counselling and peer support - Free and confidential 24/7 counselling and peer support services which are open to all doctors and medical students (regardless of BMA membership), plus their partners and dependants.   

Royal College of GPs (RCGP) Wellbeing resources - Wellbeing resources, support and helplines including organisations that can help with your health, finances, indemnity and legal advice and their online wellbeing resources.  

Employer Support

NHS Employers - promotes wellbeing at work, with advice and information for NHS provider organisations on health and safety, stress, sickness absence and more.

Evolveworkplacewellbeing.org - guide to explore and embed workplace wellbeing.  

KeepingWell NCL - Coping with Challenging Behaviour towards health & social care staff  - recorded webinar, which builds practical strategies for prevention, de-escalation and support.

NHSE » Handling difficult situations with compassion –  offered to all frontline, patient facing NHS colleagues, and aims to teach colleagues the skills and techniques to handle difficult situations with compassion.

NHSE» Having safe and effective wellbeing conversations - training programme designed to support NHS colleagues in having safe and effective wellbeing conversations. 

Wellbeing Conversation resources and templates - resources to hold health and wellbeing conversations intended to be regular, supportive, coaching-style one to one conversations that focus on the wellbeing of our NHS people.  

Flexible working: toolkit for individuals and line managers- NHS England have created two flexible working guides, in collaboration with Timewise and NHS Staff Council 

Londonwide Local Medical Committees - GP Professional Support Network which offers peer to peer professional advice and support and includes: GP Support services to GPs and their Practices; Supporting a return to work after maternity leave; Educational Supervision; Clinical Supervision Educational Support; Professional Coaching; and Talking Therapy Support.

Recruitment

Available job descriptions, resources and networks - NHS Futures recruitment pack.

Apprenticeships Employers - Continuous Professional Development for existing staff and a recruitment vehicle to attract new staff.

Health Care Worker Visa - NHS Employers information on skilled worker visa for employing overseas nationals (excluding Irish citizens) under the points-based immigration system. 

International Induction Programme - Supported pathway for overseas qualified GPs to be inducted safely into NHS General Practice. 

Return to Practice (RtP) programme - Provides a safe, supported pathway for qualified GPs to return to NHS General Practice after an absence of more than 2 years. 

Medical Support Worker Scheme - for Refugee Doctors which supports experienced doctors with refugee status who have been ‘out of practice’ and are wishing to pursue a future medical career within the NHS.  

All GPs must be registered on the Performers List to work in any of the NCL boroughs. Please see details here.

Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) roles   

Locums

National Association of Sessional GPs - Resources and tools for GP locums and practices including booking platform.

British Medical Association - Guidance and fees to help with your negotiations whether you are a locum GP, consultant, or an employer of locum services.

The NCL Flexible Staff Pool for primary care is now live:

  • NCL ICB has awarded a contract to Health and Care Staff Pool Limited (HCSPL), a collaboration of the GP Federations in North Central London to create and manage a platform for locums to register, view and apply for local opportunities posted by Healthcare providers. This is a national initiative whereby NHS England are funding Flexible Staff Pools in all ICS regions to further support the connectivity of locums to a local footprint. Flexible Staff Pool - North Central London GP Website (icb.nhs.uk).

Workforce Planning

Workforce planning guidance - provides Primary Care Networks and practices a step-by-step guide to workforce planning.

HEE resources - resource page for workforce planning.

Retention Support

SPIN and Mid-career Fellowships - Programme to encourage and support recently qualified GPs and General Practice Nurses into substantive salaried posts across NCL by linking them to a range of portfolio roles.

Confidential Coaching Offer - Looking after you - Three confidential coaching offers to help you as an individual, support you to manage your team and reflect on your career goals and ambitions.

Mentorship, Leadership Development - Available to First Five and mid-career GPs this mentoring scheme is an opportunity to build networks, improve job satisfaction and retention in general practice for both mentees and mentors.

National GP Retention Scheme - Package of financial and educational support to help doctors, who might otherwise leave the profession, remain in clinical general practice. 

Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) - Calendar of training opportunities aimed to promote and educate about diversity awareness, speaking up, unconscious bias, active bystander, bullying & harassment, and Multi-professional Leadership Network. Contact kerree.ahern@nhs.net for more information.

Flexible working

NHSE Flexible Working - Find out key information and tips on how to enhance flexible working in your organisation.

NHSE Flexible Working Toolkits - There are two guides that you can access. This includes a toolkit for individuals and a toolkit for line managers.

NCL Flexible Working Staff Pool - Register your interest to join the NCL Flexible Staff Pool.

Training

NCL Training Hub - Events and training opportunities for NCL.

NCL Knowledge and Library Services – The team are available to help with all your knowledge and information needs. This can be anything from helping set up your NHS OpenAthens account to searching medical databases for high quality evidence to support.

Induction Videos - Induction videos are for colleagues (training doctors, locums, new ARRS roles, etc.) who have recently joined Camden primary care with some videos (e.g. EMIS) that will be applicable for everyone.

Integrated Care Support Services provides assistance to Integrated Care Boards, Care Homes, GP Practices, Primary Care Networks and Federations through projects, training, resources and back-office support. The Integrated Care Support Services, in collaboration with Dr Jeremy Gray, have compiled a document of educational resources for GPs, including links to training courses, podcasts, literature and more.

NHS OpenAthens –   If creating a new account, click to sign up and choose ‘GPs, practice staff and CCG staff in North Central London’ as your organisation. If you already have an account but need your password reset or a reminder of your login details, just email ncl.lib@nhs.net and one of the knowledge specialists will help.

Royal College of GPs eLearning  -A range of e-learning, events, educational libraries & best practice.

Wise GP - The WISDOM Course - WISDOM offers flexible online learning to help you tackle everyday complexity and uncertainty in practice. It's free to access!

NHSE e-Learning for healthcare  -Range of national e-learning including mandatory training and over 100 training areas.

National Institute for Health Research Learning and Support - National repository of information to support health care professionals, researchers, patients and public.

BMA Training Information for GPs  - Information about career progression opportunities for GPs.

Mandatory training 

For all the latest requirements for mandatory training please refer to the Mandatory Training page on the NCL GP website.

Finance

London Wide LMCs’ Buying Group - Allows practices in London to access exclusive preferential deals.

Locum Finance Advise - Advice for locums regarding what they need to know about being self employed.

Information for GPs about pensions - information from the NCL ICB GP website.

Personal Finances

Please look at our cost of living section for additional up to date resources - Resources (ncltraininghub.org)

Borough Specific Cost of Living resources - latest resource packs developed by borough partnerships and Councils to support their residents.

Blue Light Card - Access to thousands of deals. Those eligible include, NHS staff, NHS dental teams, social care teams & more. Payment of £4.99 gives access to the deals for two years.

Healthcare Workers’ Foundation Grant - Up to £1000 for all health and social (primary and secondary) care staff experiencing financial difficulty.

All Our Health: Financial wellbeing bite-sized course - An overview of financial wellbeing - including key evidence, data and signposting to trusted resources to help prevent illness, protect health and promote wellbeing.  

Support via MoneyHelper Service - Free, independent support including tools and resources to manage finances:

Health Service Discounts – Exclusive discounts, cashback and vouchers for NHS and healthcare workers

Money Saving Expert - Discounts and offers for NHS staff - Top deals available and how to get them 

BMA Charities - Support grant for doctors - Financial assistance for medical students, doctors and refugee doctors  

Royal College of GPs (RCGP) Wellbeing resources - Wellbeing resources, support and helplines including organisations that can help with your health, finances, indemnity and legal advice and their online wellbeing resources

The Royal Medical Benevolent Fund provides financial (grants and loans) and money advice and information for all doctors and their families, which can cover ill health and bereavement.

Help improve staff morale

Please see a number of suggestions from practices how they are helping improve staff morale:

  • Sharing letters and comments that praise the practice 

  • Regular positive feedback to staff members 

  • Holding hublets and/or coffee meetings daily 

  • Staff meetings (all practice or representation from reception, admin, nurses, trainers etc.) 

  • Educational meetings 

  • Journal clubs 

  • Exercise sessions 

  • Registrars/F2 meetings  

  • Salaried doctor meetings  

  • Disseminating practice information 

  • Social events (with possible practice contribution) 

  • Flowers, biscuits, fruit and drinks in the practice 

  • Reflecting on significant events (positive, negative and learnings) 

Staying in the Loop