Why we do it

The Academy of Primary is driving the redesign and delivery of the workforce, clinical care and service design needed for 21st century primary care practice. We identify, explore and address problems facing primary care populations and health care systems.

The Academy is integral to Hull York Medical School’s vision of producing confident and compassionate doctors, with the wisdom and skills to deliver exceptional patient-centred care. As part of the School’s partnership with local primary care providers, we work to improve quality of care, including recruitment and retention of the best practitioners, across our region.

Primary care: What it is (and what it isn't)

Most of us think of primary care as our main point of access with the wider health care system - the route by which we most commonly access other parts of the NHS, for example hospital care.

For many people, their GP will be their first point of contact with healthcare. General Practices are just one part of a wider primary care network. Primary care also includes care you receive at walk-in centres, dental practices, community pharmacies and high street opticians.

But primary care is more than a list of places or services you access. Primary care is a distinct way of designing health services to meet the needs of people, rather than to treat individual conditions. Based on international evidence we know what is needed to deliver strong primary care – namely healthcare that is continuous, comprehensive, accessible, coordinated, person-centred care.

Why do we need to champion and cultivate primary care scholarship?

Scholarship refers to both the knowledge acquired by study, and the processes by which that knowledge is generated and acquired. Scholarship is the intellectual expertise that underpins primary care excellence. It is a resource needed by everyone working in primary care – clinician, educator, academic, manager, policy maker – to develop, deliver and sustain the highest standards of care.

The tasks of Scholarship were defined by Boyer, and include

  • Discovery of ideas, data and knowledge.
  • Integration: the synthesis of information across discipline, topics, contexts and time).
  • Application: discovering ways to use knowledge to solve problems)
  • Inspiration: including through teaching and learning

All can happen in a clinical consultation, in practice development projects, within  original research, and in teaching and education settings.

Scholarship is therefore part of everyday practice in all aspects of primary care, and core to building and sustaining the excellent primary care.

Which is why the Academy is a key partner in the national GP Scholarship programme - Wise GP: championing and cultivating the intellectual expertise at the heart of modern General Practice. Find out more about the WISE GP programme on its dedicated website. 

Why is academic primary care important?

Academic primary care is a distinct discipline dedicated to advancing primary care through education, research and scholarship. The success of primary care therefore depends on the continuing work of the academic community that underpins it.

Academic primary care is a multidisciplinary professional group, combining distinct expertise and understanding of the primary care context with specialist skills in education and research methodology - to ultimately advance practice and policy.

The discipline has its origins in the medical school (university) setting but is now also strongly embedded in clinical service and practice, including within partner clinical commissioning groups, postgraduate educational contexts (Health Education England), clinical research networks, collaborations for leadership in applied health research and care, and academic health science networks.

The discipline works to identify, explore and address problems facing primary care populations and health care systems. It develops, tests and disseminates primary care solutions to complex problems through planning, undertaking, and reporting on the findings of both basic and applied research. This includes its essential role in the design, delivery and evaluation of appropriate undergraduate and postgraduate curricula for tomorrow’s workforce training to work in an ever evolving NHS. 


1 The BMJ: ‘Tackling the crisis in general practice’

2 Health Education England ‘By choice – not by chance'

3 NHS Five Year Forward View

4As shown by Healthwatch’s annual survey, the 2016 British Social Attitudes Survey, and the annual NHS GP patient survey.

5 The Lancet: Clinical workload in UK primary care: a retrospective analysis of 100 million consultations in England, 2007-14