Multi-disciplinary teams

This position paper sets out the RCGP approach to the wider practice team in general practice. The College welcomes the broadening of the general practice multi-disciplinary team, which has been taking place for some time to different degrees across the UK. However, there are a number of significant challenges to overcome in order to create conditions where new and emerging roles can effectively and smoothly become integrated into teams within general practice across the UK.

These challenges will vary across different practices and localities depending upon a number of factors, including the range of stakeholders involved, the maturity of primary care provider organisations and pressure in meeting current demands. This paper sets out these challenges and a series of recommendations to begin to tackle the key issues.

Our recommendations include:

  1. Appropriate guidance on training, mentorship schemes, induction support and supervision for the wider team needs to be better developed for general practice. This should ensure supervision is not overly burdensome for GPs.
  2. More resources to GPs and their practices for training of the wide range of practice staff, including sufficient funding for student placements, infrastructure, educational support, and support for supervision.
  3. Relevant reviews of the education and training of new clinical practice roles to team should aim to ensure newly qualified staff can make a full contribution to general practice.
  4. Further research needs to be commissioned to build the evidence base on the impact of the emergence of new and developing roles in general practice on clinical outcomes.
  5. A widescale NHS campaign should be launched to improve patient and staff understanding of the wider practice clinical roles.
  6. We will continue to work with the Department of Health and Social Care during the development of the state-backed indemnity scheme in England. This must ensure that cover provided for wider practice team members, their supervisors and employers, is sufficient and affordable.

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