An investigation of the scale, scope and impact of skill mix change in primary care

Funded by NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research, this project will run from September 2018 - August 2020.

Two medical professionals looking at a display of brain scans

In recent years there has been a gradual shift in the composition of teams delivering health care in general practice settings. An increasing proportion of healthcare is now delivered by practitioners from a broad range of different disciplines; pharmacists, physiotherapists, physician associates and advanced nurse practitioners. However, there is limited evidence about how increasing ‘skill mix’ employment may affect the organisation of care, the experiences of patients and practitioners and health outcomes or costs.

In this mixed methods project we will investigate the evolving scale, scope and impact of changes in skill mix at national and practice level. We will take an in-depth look at how workforce composition changes affect patients and practitioners. We will look into the reasons that practices choose to employ particular types of practitioner and examine how they operationalise broader skill mix within their organisation.

Our analyses will look for associations between employment patterns and healthcare activity, performance and costs (ie as indicated by hospital care, prescribing costs, GP satisfaction, patient satisfaction etc).

Project team