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The NHS in England is under considerable pressure to respond to the changes in our society's health. New ways of preventing illness, managing disease and delivering care are needed. This has been recognised by NHS England who have published the NHS Long Term Plan.

Significantly, this plan recognises that to meet many of the challenges that the NHS faces, an influential and prominent primary care and community-based health service is needed. In recognition of this, at least £4.5 billion a year in real terms is being promised to enhance and integrate these services by 2023/24. Also, the plan is set to run over ten years, thus potentially providing a period of stability for any change to take place.

A range of changes and initiatives are planned. These include, for example, new service models (such as Primary Care Networks), new working relationships (such as Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships) and extended roles and recruitment of non-medical practitioners (such as pharmacists, nurses, paramedics, link workers and allied health professionals).

However, evidence is needed to support the optimal implementation of the various aspects of the NHS Long Term Plan into current NHS structures and practice.

The work will build on an existing programme of work to support the evidence base for primary care redesign, including work within the NIHR SPCR Evidence Synthesis Working GroupCentre for Evidence Based Medicine and Interdisciplinary Research in Health Sciences (IRIHS) group.

The proposal may use a variety of research designs including evidence synthesis, qualitative and realist methods. Training and supervision will be provided, and there will be opportunities to form national and international collaborations as the work develops.

Stakeholder involvement will be a critical feature of the proposed DPhil work. Stakeholders will include patients and members of the public, as well as clinicians and those working at a local and national policy level. The department offers several ways in which to support PPI and stakeholder work.

We would welcome anyone interested to approach us to discuss your plans for your DPhil, outlining what your plans are and why this area of focus is important. We are particularly keen to hear from NHS primary care health care professionals.

For more information contact Dr Geoff Wong.

Proposed supervisory team: