Research to inform staff training for digital delivery in primary care

Information about the research


Who is carrying out this research?

This qualitative research is being carried out by Nightingale Design Research for Health Education England (HEE) as part of the Digital Readiness Programme and in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHS E/I). Nightingale Design Research is an independent research consultancy.


What is the purpose of this research?

Your input will help us to understand how best to meet your training needs for delivering remote triage (navigating patients to the right person or place first time and managing problems in the most appropriate way in the right timeframe). This research is particularly focused on the use of online forms, direct messaging (online or SMS) and telephone and video consultations to deliver care remotely. The insights will enable NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHS E/I) to develop a specific training offer for primary care. It will establish specific routes to training delivery that are relevant for all primary care staff (clinical and non-clinical). 


How will this research be carried out?

Researchers will be speaking to primary care staff (GPs, practice nurses/nurse practitioners, practice pharmacists, practice managers and administrative staff) in a range of practices about their experiences. There will be a particular focus on understanding what training offers currently exist and what the learning needs are for frontline primary care staff in England, using these approaches to deliver care to patients. 

This research will take the form of virtual focus groups (e.g. via MS Teams), lasting approximately 90 minutes. Alternatively, individual telephone/video interviews can be conducted, lasting approximately 1 hour, depending on the availability and preferences of the participants.


How will my data be stored?

Discussions will be digitally recorded and a transcript of the discussion will be created, at which point the audio/video file will be deleted. Your data will always be stored anonymously and safely on password-protected cloud storage on secure servers, in a manner compliant with GDPR regulations. Nightingale has Cyber Essentials certification, which certifies that our data storage meets the security requirements set out by the UK government. You can withdraw from this study at any point and should you wish to withdraw, your data will be deleted. Your name will not be disclosed to the NHS E/I or HEE in any reports or final outputs. Participation in this research is on a voluntary and anonymous basis. We will use quotes for the final outputs, but these will not be attributed to identifiable individuals or practices.


How do I get involved?

The focus groups and interviews have now concluded and the outputs are being analysed.

If you would like to participate a survey will be available here shortly to gather your experiences and opinions. 

If you have any questions, please contact Frances Brown:


Who do I approach if I have any concerns about this research?

Please email the Digital First Primary Care team: or

Health Education England's Digital Readiness team: