Professor Martin Roland, a professor of health services research at the University of Cambridge and former director of the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre in Manchester, will chair the commission, set up on the orders of health secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Mr Hunt's announcement earlier this year at the RCGP conference in Liverpool that he had told Health Education England (HEE) to set up a GP workforce commission sparked warnings that 'immediate action' was needed, rather than an inquiry.
Speaking after the RCGP conference, GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said that although he was happy to work with the commission, general practice was 'at breaking point' and needed immediate support.
Primary care evolution
The commission has been set up to investigate how the primary care workforce needs to evolve as the NHS shifts more work into community and primary care settings.
HEE said the commission would focus on:
- Patient and population need.
- Emerging models of care to respond to the population need.
- Maximising new skill sets.
- Education and training.
HEE director of quality and education Professor Wendy Reid said: 'I am delighted that Professor Martin Roland has agreed to chair our commission reviewing the primary care workforce, he will bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge to this important review.
Challenge to primary care
'Primary care services will need to change to meet the challenges of an ageing population and better serve those with complex health and care needs. This commission is designed to look at the best models of care, responding to the recently published Five Year Forward View, and focus on workforce provision that will help break down barriers between primary and secondary care and raise the standards of care for patients.'
Professor Roland said: ‘I’m honoured to have the opportunity to chair this commission. Primary care is going to play a more and more important part in delivering healthcare in our country and it’s critical that we have the right workforce in sufficient numbers to meet the needs of patients.
'This commission will review not just what types of staff we need in primary care, but also what numbers we need to train and retain to provide a high quality service into the future.'
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