Well-being of the primary care workforce
- 1 September 2022 to 31 August 2024
- Project No: 597
- Funding round: FR4
Background: General Practice (GP) surgeries are experiencing increasing pressures and high workloads. The population is increasing, people are living longer and have more complex and multiple health needs.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a big impact on people’s health and well-being, leading to increasing demand for healthcare. Over the past 5 years, many GPs have retired or changed to part-time and flexible working, reducing the number of GPs available across the country. The increasing workload and burnout of practicing GPs and other health professionals can affect quality of care for patients, with increased risks for patients’ safety.
Efforts are being made to improve this situation. A wide range of initiatives have been proposed to support the mental health and wellbeing of healthcare staff. Furthermore, health professionals from different disciplines, such as nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, or paramedics are now working together with GPs in primary care. It is important to understand how effective these initiatives are, and how best to improve teamwork.
Aims: In this project, we will summarize evidence from previously published research studies, in order to develop guidance for initiatives and interventions to support primary care staff, improve their well-being, and ensure optimal quality of care for patients. We will investigate:
1. which initiatives improve wellbeing and retention of staff in health and social care
2. which initiatives can improve teamwork within primary care and with other care services
Methods: We will carry out 2 reviews of the literature. We will search international databases and registries to identify relevant studies. From each study, we will extract detailed information about:
- type of initiatives and to whom they have been offered
- effects on staff (well-being, mental health, work absence, job satisfaction)
- effects on patients (patient satisfaction, safety, continuity of their care).
- quality of the research.
We will use formal statistical and qualitative methods to analyse and combine best evidence from the research studies.
Patient, public and stakeholder involvement: Throughout the project we will work with advisory groups including patients and carers, health professionals, NHS administrators and managers from diverse backgrounds and regions to incorporate their views regarding:
- the type of studies and initiatives and interventions to include in the reviews
- which outcomes to use
- the importance and interpretation of findings
- how best to present the findings to patients, carers and families and health professionals
- how best to use the findings to develop guidance and information materials
Impact and dissemination: The project will identify initiatives and interventions likely to be successful in improving wellbeing and retention of healthcare staff, with expected benefits for patients and quality of care received. The findings will inform the development of new initiatives / interventions and guidance for implementing support for primary care staff in the UK. We will co-produce plain English summaries and infographics with our advisory groups; and disseminate findings through websites, health journalists, social media, and our links with health professional organisations and charities. We will share findings with international research teams by reporting findings in scientific journals and during conferences.
Amount Awarded: £265,883