NHS leaders have promised that £10 million will be invested into expanding the general practice workforce in England.

The commitment, part of the £1 billion additional investment for primary care infrastructure announced last week, will be used to recruit new GPs, retain those thinking of stepping away from the profession, and encourage doctors - such as those who were overseas or taking a career break - back into general practice, NHS England said.

The funds will underpin development of a range of initiatives in collaboration with Health Education England, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Medical Association to boost the number of GPs and develop the role of other primary care staff, such as nurses and pharmacists.

Plans include incentivising young doctors to become GPs in areas of greatest recruitment need by offering a further year of training in a related clinical specialty of interest, and developing pilot training hubs based in GP practices around the country.

Maureen Baker, chair of the RGCP, says the move is good news for general practice and patients. “By rolling out the action plan, we are laying the foundations for a fully reinvigorated and restored general practice, which can deliver excellent patient care in the community and take substantial pressure off our hospitals,” she noted.