About EPIC Workforce Development

Background

The concept of a workforce career development centre was devised by Health Education East of England (HEEoE) and North and South Essex Local Medical Committees (LMCs) as an innovative solution to addressing the ongoing difficulty in recruiting, developing and retaining GPs, Practice Nurses and Primary Care Staff in Essex.

EQUIP (Education and Quality in Primary Care) is an organisation that has been supporting primary health care teams and allied health professionals across Essex for over 20 years with the aim of improving the quality of care to patients through audit, anticipatory care, multi-professional training and education. It has established strong networks with General Practices across Essex and a key strategic aim has been to develop and retain the primary care workforce through working closely with other stakeholders such as the LMC. The EQUIP website has a well-established job vacancy section as well as a GP and Practice Nurse Locum register.

First steps

  • January 2015 EQUIP was awarded the contract to deliver a two year pilot project to “improve recruitment and retention in primary care in Essex through the creation of an Essex Primary Care Workforce Career and Leadership Development Centre”.
  • EQUIP, in consultation with key stakeholder representatives, entitled the project the Essex Primary Care Inter-professional Centre (EPIC) for Workforce Development.
  • Mission statement established: “to support, inspire and expand the primary care workforce in Essex to improve patient care”.
  • Formal Launch of EPIC Workforce Development on 23 September 2015 at Hylands House, Chelmsford, representatives from each of our key stakeholders invited.

Aims and Objectives

The functions of EPIC Workforce Development are in keeping with NHS England’s GP workforce 10 point plan, Building the Workforce – the New Deal for General Practice which stresses the urgent need to recruit doctors into general practice, retain current GPs and support returners.

The specified aims of this virtual workforce centre include:

  • To help future proof General Practice in Essex by providing clinical and non-clinical staff with the necessary workforce skills, values and support tools, such as mentoring to improve the quality and continuity of safe primary care services in Essex
  • To promote Essex as the first choice career location for GPs, Nurses and other health professionals planning their future and highlight the many benefits of living and working in the County
  • To demonstrate that Essex values its primary care staff and their essential role in securing the sustainability of the NHS and acknowledges the need to nurture and support career development
  • To implement recruitment and retention initiatives to support GP Practices