In response to the Ten Point Plan ‘Building the Workforce ‒ the New Deal for General Practice’, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Kent and Medway are responding to current workforce challenges through a system of learning hubs, termed Community Education Provider Networks (CEPNs). These are the community equivalent of hospital postgraduate medical centres and are responsible for providing an overview of the primary care workforce and its development and education.
CEPNs have prioritised a number of key areas to improve the retention of general practitioners (GPs) while at the same time maximising recruitment of new GPs. These initiatives include Hub/Place Based Education Training and Support to develop the current and future workforce allowing senior GPs to refresh their working patterns and develop educational and mentorship skills, which may prolong careers by providing varied and stimulating career opportunities. GPs are also being encouraged to develop a specialism through the GP Specialisms with those taking part in East Kent reporting greater professional satisfaction through increased variety and stimulation in their role.
NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group is working with local GPs through the Medway Practices Alliance to ensure the nationally mandated core requirements are in place for 100% of the Medway population by October 2018.
In Medway, including Rainham and Gillingham, this will result in an additional 150 hours of consultation capacity per week. In line with the Medway Model – the Medway interpretation of the Kent and Medway Local Care agenda – improved access will be offered across the area, operating from healthy living centres.