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Workforce shortages are the biggest single challenge facing the NHS and adult social care. Effective workforce planning that considers the quantity and type of health care demanded by service users is key to addressing these shortages.

Recently published projections from the Health Foundation’s REAL Centre show that the shortage of GPs and general practice nurses is set to get substantially worse over the coming decade. Without a change to current workforce trends and policies, close to 1 in 4 GP and general practice nurse posts needed to deliver pre-pandemic standards of care and meet rising need would be vacant by 2030/31.

In this webinar, we focussed on the general practice workforce, exploring:

  • What is the outlook for the supply and demand of GPs and other patient care staff working in general practices and primary care networks;
  • What are the implications for the future of general practice;
  • What can policymakers do to support ensure access to high quality general practice services over this decade?


Anita Charlesworth is the Director of Research and the REAL Centre (Research and Economic Analysis for the Long term) at the Health Foundation, and Honorary Professor in the College of Social Sciences at the Health Services Management Centre (HSMC) at the University of Birmingham. 

Anita is a health economist and has a background in government and public policy. Before joining the Health Foundation in May 2014, she was Chief Economist at the Nuffield Trust from 2010–14, where she led the Trust’s work on health care financing and market mechanisms. Prior to that she had roles as Chief Analyst and Chief Scientific Advisor at DCMS (2007–10), Director of Public Spending at the Treasury (1998–2007), and worked as an Economic Advisor at the Department of Health and for SmithKline Beecham pharmaceuticals. 

She has worked as a non-executive director in the NHS – for Islington PCT (2007–2011) and The Whittington Hospital (2011–2016). 

Anita was specialist advisor to the House of Lords' Select Committee on the long-term sustainability of the NHS in 2016/17, and has recently been appointed as an expert adviser for the Health and Social Care Select Committee and also sits on the expert and advisory panel for the Independent Review of Criminal Legal Aid. Anita is Chair of the OHE Policy Committee (2020) and is also a Commissioner for The Lancet Global Health Commission on Financing Primary Health Care. 

Anita has an MSc in Health Economics from the University of York. She is a Trustee for Tommy’s, the baby charity, and also a Trustee for the Office of Health Economics. She was awarded a CBE in The Queen's 2017 Birthday Honours List for Services to Economics and Health Policy.

Anita Charlesworth, Director of Research and Economics at the Health Foundation

Becks joined the Health Foundation in September 2016, and is now a Senior Policy Fellow.

She leads policy work on primary care and general practice, and has a particular interest in equity in primary care provision.

Becks is a practicing doctor, and works two days a week as a GP in an area of urban high deprivation.

Prior to taking up her policy role at the Foundation, Becks spent a year as a National Medical Directors Clinical Fellow to Sir Bruce Keogh. She completed her GP training and an Academic Clinical Fellowship in Oxford, where her research focussed on effective delivery of out of hours primary care. Alongside these roles, Becks was a teaching Fellow at Green Templeton College, and subsequently co-founded Next Generation GP – now a national leadership programme for early career GPs. 

Becks did her medical training at the University of Cambridge, graduating with the Roger Morris prize for medicine and surgery.  

Dr Rebecca Fisher, Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation

Matthew is a high-profile public figure who has had a distinguished career at the heart of public policy for the last 20 years. He has led the RSA for 15 years and during that time he has transformed the organisation into a global institution, with 30,000 fellows and a high-profile and influential research programme.

Before that he was Chief Adviser on Political Strategy to Prime Minister Tony Blair, and he also ran the Institute for Public Policy Research for four years. He is a widely known commentator on policy, politics and public service reform and regularly appears on national media programmes, including as a panellist on BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze. He was also commissioned by the Conservative Government in 2016 to carry out an independent review into modern employment practices. Matthew started his career as a health policy researcher in the West Midlands.

Matthew brings a remarkable depth of experience at the heart of government and public policy and is a compelling advocate for our members as they face the challenges of recovering from the pandemic and delivering better health for all the communities they serve. 

Matthew Taylor


Jennifer was Chief Executive of the Nuffield Trust from 2008 to 2013. Prior to this, she was Director of Policy at The King’s Fund and was the policy advisor to the Chief Executive of the National Health Service between 1998 and 2000. Jennifer has undertaken research and written widely on health care reform both in the UK and internationally.

Originally trained in medicine, Jennifer practised mainly paediatric medicine, prior to a career in policy analysis. She has a Master’s in public health and a PhD in health services research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 1990–91, Jennifer was a Harkness Fellow in New York.

Jennifer was appointed as a non-executive board member of the UK Health Security Agency in April 2022. She has served as a Board member of the Health Care Commission 2004–2009; the Audit Commission 2003–2012; and the Care Quality Commission 2013–2016. She has led two national inquiries for government: on the setting up of published ratings of quality of NHS and social care providers in England (2013); and on the setting up of ratings for general practices (2015). She was also a member of the Parliamentary Review Panel for the Welsh Assembly Government advising on the future strategy for the NHS and social care in Wales (2017–2018).

In 2009, Jennifer was elected a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and in 2019 was elected as a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. She was awarded a CBE for services to public health in 2013, and a Doctor of Science from Bristol University in 2016. She has held visiting professorships at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the London School of Economics, and Imperial College Business School.

Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive of the Health Foundation

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