ReGROUP is a comprehensive mixed-method programme of work involving six major workstreams.

Workstream 1: Systematic Review

A systematic review of empirical research conducted in the UK describing factors influencing GPs decisions to quit patient care will be led by Associate Professor Rob Anderson within the Evidence Synthesis & Modelling for Health Improvement (ESMI) group.

Workstream 2: Census Survey

A census survey of all GPs in South West England will be undertaken to describe the current and projected GP capacity within the next five years in the region and to also provide an opportunity to invite GPs to take part in qualitative interviews within workstream 3. The survey will be led by Professor John Campbell and Emily Fletcher within the Primary Care Research Group, in association with NHS England.

Workstream 3: Qualitative interviews

Qualitative interviews with GPs and other members of the general practice community in South West England, to identify the content of potential policies and strategies that might support the retention of GPs in direct patient care, will be led by Dr Sarah Dean (Psychology Applied to Health – PAtH – group), Professor Chris Salisbury (University of Bristol) and Dr Anna Sansom within the Primary Care Research Group.

Workstream 4: Expert panel assessment

An expert panel assessment of the likely feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed policies and strategies will be undertaken by our partner, Dr Rupa Chilvers (Tangerine Bee), and Dr Suzanne Richards within the Primary Care Research Group, using our expertise in the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method (RAM) (publication taken from Professor Campbell’s profile page: Wright C, Moseley A, Chilvers R, Stabb L, Campbell JL, Richards SH (2009). Development of an early intervention to prevent long-term incapacity for work: using an online RAND/UCLA appropriateness method to obtain the views of general practitioners. Primary Health Care Research & Development, 10, 65-78). This method involves the development of statements around potential policies and strategies from the components identified through the systematic review and qualitative interview workstreams. The statements are presented online to an expert panel, comprised of members of key stakeholder groups with expertise and involvement in GP workforce planning, who review and rate/prioritise the statements in two rounds.

Workstream 5: Supply-demand modelling techniques

Building on the census survey’s assessment of current and projected GP capacity, we are using supply-demand modelling techniques, with input from our colleagues at the Department of Health to identify supply-demand imbalances at practice level that are likely within the next five years. This will demonstrate a way to strategically target any relevant policies and strategies produced at the end of the project.

Workstream 6: National stakeholder consultation meetings

Five national stakeholder consultation meetings will be led by the Primary Care team with members of key stakeholder groups who have expertise and involvement in GP workforce planning in order to ‘reality-test’ the proposed policies and strategies delivered by the RAM panel assessment in workstream 4. These consultations will determine the acceptability of the proposed policies and strategies, along with their likelihood of immediate uptake in light of any identified barriers and facilitators.