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Evaluating the impact of a coaching pilot on the resilience and retention of UK general practitioners
  1. Judy McKimm1,
  2. Jane Povey2
  1. 1 Swansea University Medical School, Swansea, Wales, UK
  2. 2 Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Jane Povey, Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, London NW1 4LB, UK; jane.povey{at}


Background The role of the general practitioner (GP) is central to the UK National Health Service, with the vast majority of healthcare being delivered in the community. Although a range of policy initiatives aim to address the immense pressures on GPs, the GP workforce in England is struggling to keep pace with demand. GP retention is therefore key.

Objectives In the light of these issues, a confidential coaching programme for GPs at risk of leaving the profession or who had recently returned to practise after some time out was commissioned.

Methods A structured impact evaluation of the programme was carried, which included interviews and surveys of both GP participants and coaches.

Results Coaching was found to be very beneficial for the GPs, with many indicating it had helped them to address workplace issues and encouraged them to stay in their job role.

Conclusions This paper reports on the evaluation of the pilot programme and sets out recommendations for future action, including how to introduce coaching as a means of retention of GPs.

  • general practitioners
  • GPs
  • coaching
  • workforce retention

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  • Contributors JM collaborated on the evaluation, drafted the paper and is responsible for the overall content of the paper. JP contributed to the paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The full evaluation report is available from FMLM. Please contact the corresponding author JP for more information.