GP, PA & Supporting Roles

General Practioner (GP)

Supporting effective and sustainable General Practice is what we’re all about. Whether you are a Partner, Salaried GP or Locum you can access the means to develop or extend your career. You can also find out how you may benefit from support through the coaching and mentoring scheme. 

How to become a GP
To become a GP, you will need:

  • To hold a five year degree in medicine that is recognised by the General Medical Council
  • Have completed a two year foundation course in general training. This will give you practical experience of the job
  • To complete a three year specialist training in general medical practice
  • Complete an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

CPD requirements
A minimum of 50 CPD learning credits per year and a documented discussion of CPD at each appraisal. Significant Event Analyses (SEAs) should be discussed at each appraisal.


As a GP you could also work in education, teaching students training to be GPs or go into clinical research. You might also get involved in local health issues, maybe as a member of a Local Medical Committee or Clinical Commissioning Group.

National GP Retention Scheme

The National GP Retention Scheme is a package of financial and educational support to help doctors, who might otherwise leave the profession, remain in General Practice

Clinical Supervision

For information on becoming a clinical supervisor, for those who wish to start their training career by clinically supervising the wider workforce in a Primary Care Learning Environment – please see our FCP & Wider Workforce page.

North West Trainer Journey

To continue to increase numbers of approved GP Trainers/Supervisors and reduce any perceived barriers to participation in supervision courses, the HENW GP School has recently introduced important changes to the Trainer Journey process. Given that you may speak with potential GP Trainers/Supervisors and those who are already on the journey, we wanted to share this information with you for reference. The changes are:

  • The Postgraduate Certificate and UCLAN Registration previously required for the Educational Supervisor (ES) Course is now optional. It remains in place for those who still wish to pursue an academic route obtaining UCLAN credits for work completed. Participants on the ES course who do not wish to enrol for the PG Cert with UCLAN will still need to complete assignments for the 3 modules of the ES course.
  • The Educational Supervisor Approval will now be integrated into days 5 & 6 (Module 3) of the Educational Supervisors Course. This eliminates the need for a separate accreditation meeting with an Associate Dean or Lead Educator following the course. We are currently also reviewing how we can speed up the approval processes for Foundation and Clinical Supervisors
  • The Educational Supervisor First Year Review (Year with a Learner module) has been removed as part of the Trainer approval process and will become an optional academic UCLAN module. Support will still be provided to Educational Supervisors by Associate Deans as required
  • NORTH WEST Trainer Journey

GP Assistant (GPA)

General Practice Assistants (GPAs) form part of a multi-disciplinary team within Primary Care. GPAs provide support with administrative tasks, combined with basic clinical duties, relieving GP pressure by helping free up time and contribute toward the running of appointments and creating a positive patient experience in General Practice.

What do GP Assistants do in practice?

  • Sorting all clinical post and prioritising
  • Extracting all information from clinical letters that needs coding
  • Dealing with all routine clinical post directly e.g. DNA letters, 2WW etc.
  • Arranging appointments, referrals and follow up appointments of patients
  • Preparing patients prior to going in to see the GP, taking a brief history and basic readings in readiness for the GP appointment.
  • Dipping urine, taking blood pressure, ECGs & phlebotomy
  • Completing basic (non-opinion) forms for the GP to approve and sign such as insurance forms, mortgage forms e.g. ESA113 etc
  • Explaining treatment procedures to patients including arranging follow up appointments
  • Helping the GP liaise with outside agencies i.e. getting an on call doctor on the phone to ask advice or arrange admission while the GP can continue with their consultation(s)
  • Support the GP with immunisations/wound care

Please follow this link for further information: and read the flyers attached.

For any queries regarding the ARRS scheme in general/or the in-house training, please email to [email protected].  

GP Assistant Flyer

GPA Job Specification

GPA Learner Guide

GPA Mentor Guide

GPA Programme FAQs

Physician Associates (PA)

Recent workforce data undertaken in primary care across the North West has served to strongly illustrate the need for action to improve the attraction, recruitment and retention of health care workforce to the general practice setting. As part of the Workforce Transformation Programme, Health Education England’s North West team is supporting the new role of Physician Associates.

A Physician Associate is a new role and it is evolving. A Physician Associate, whilst not a doctor, works to the medical model and has been used in other areas of the country to fill the workforce gap in Primary care.

Royal College of Physicians – PA Employers Guide

Royal College of Physicians – Who are Physician Associates

Royal College of Physicians – PA Managed Voluntary Register

NHS HEE – Physician Associates: A working Solution in primary care

Case Studies

Placement Opportunities

Southport and Formby Health Ltd (GP Federation) have been allocated the responsibility of coordinating Physician Associate Placements across the whole of Cheshire and Merseyside.
We are looking to recruit practices, who may wish to accommodate a Physician’s Associate on a clinical placement. 

Physician Associates will have a biomedical science degree and complete a 2 year PGDip PA programme. Physician Associates will come to you with a ‘fitness to work package’, which includes all occupational health checks, DBS, CPR training and indemnity.

Physician Associate Education and Training Support Pack

Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS)

NHS England and Improvement (North West) working in partnership with MIAA Solutions have developed a recruitment offer to support Primary Care Networks to employ more ARRS roles in 2021/2022.

This recruitment support offer has been designed to reduce the recruitment burden and workload on Primary Care Networks and to provide support and stability at system level across Cheshire and Merseyside.

This is a free service at no cost to PCNs provided by NHS England.

The Offer

  • A single point of contact for Primary Care Networks.
  • Streamlined approach at scale, to support the recruitment process.
  • A bespoke tailored recruitment process solution to meet the ARRS criteria.
  • All aspects of process included; from advertising to preliminary interview to shortlist stage.
  • A flexible model to reflect the PCNs capacity to complete elements of the recruitment process themselves.

The recruitment at-scale will cover the 15 roles included in the ARRS.

To register your interest or if you have any queries relating to this offer of support please email: [email protected]