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Southampton Primary Care


Empowering GP practices to transform primary care through analytics

A perfect storm is happening in primary care. The combination of pressures from shrinking budgets, aging populations and difficulty retaining talent is creating significant challenges for general practitioner (GP) practices in the UK. To meet these challenges, Southampton Primary Care Ltd (SPCL) wanted to maximise their existing workforce to make the 28 practices in the city more sustainable and improve access to care for their 280,000 patients. We worked with SPCL to identify the biggest challenges facing GP services and investigate their options to address them and build a more sustainable future.

Key successes

  • target

    aligned key executives across 28 practices around a workforce plan

  • people

    empowered a 2,000-strong workforce to work more effectively

  • lightbulb

    redesigned care to serve a population of 280,000 with myriad health conditions

Addressing the rising shortage of healthcare staff

The UK National Health Service (NHS) has charged trusts and practices to address cost pressures by increasing their effectiveness, publishing a Long Term Plan. Local providers created initial sustainability and transformation partnership proposals and operational plans that describe how they will meet national goals.

8% increase

in patient numbers per GP between 2015-18

250,000 shortfall in NHS staff

required to meet needs by 2030

1.3% reduction in headcount

of fully qualified GPs in the UK between March 2018- 2019

We helped SPCL leaders find new ways of providing care across all 28 practices which could address population needs for the next five years without adding new staff. The answer was robust and consistent approaches to workforce planning that all practices trusted and would use with confidence.

The NHS budget constraints and focus on efficiency are driving healthcare providers to adopt new ways of working. We saw an opportunity to align patient and workforce needs, so that our care staff can use their skills to their best ability, have a higher-quality work life balance and deliver exceptional service to our patients.

Dr. Ali Robins,

industry leading approaches to data analytics 

Our diverse team provided healthcare knowledge, workforce planning, analytics and programme delivery expertise to redesign how services could be delivered, gleaned from working on other similar initiatives. We deployed our proprietary digital tool - developed through working with 200 primary care organisations - and trained local practice staff on how to create consistent, repeatable insights on workforce plans that responded to their challenges.

PA helped us build new digital and planning capabilities that have been recognised by our healthcare community. We have been asked to lead planning for all Southampton care providers, which means that our community will benefit from transformed healthcare that leads to happier providers and healthier patients.

Mike Windibank

The digital tool enables SPCL to determine current capacity issues, predict future needs and model how they can use a mix of traditional primary care resources alongside digital technologies (such as Skype consultations) to create efficiencies.

With new ways of working and digital tools, SPCL staff can deliver high-quality care when patients need it. SPCL recognises that happy, productive practitioners are more likely to build long-term careers with their organisations, bringing insight and experience to patient diagnostics and treatment.


Contact us

Mark Horncastle

PA healthcare expert

Michael Dillon

PA healthcare expert