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How to make change happen in general practice


Change can be difficult in any organisation and general practices are no different. The growing crisis facing general practice, where demand is outstripping available workforce, means that as integrated care systems (ICSs) take on responsibility for NHS resources, understanding how to make change happen and happen well in general practice is vital.

In the report Levers for change in primary care, commissioned by NHS England and published alongside the Fuller stocktake on primary care, we set out the findings from the published evidence on how change happen.

We’ve also created a short resource, How to make change happen in general practice, for general practices and ICSs setting out four principles drawn from this evidence to highlight how to make change happen.

  • Changes work best when they’re driven from the bottom up.

  • Financial incentives and targets can change activities, but that’s not the same as improving outcomes.

  • The ‘soft’ stuff is important.

  • People need capacity and capability to make change happen.

This resource was created with an awareness of the pressures the sector is currently under. For each of the principles, we describe why it matters, and what it might mean for those working in general practices and in ICSs.