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    RCGP calls for an end to the ‘vicious cycle’ of unfair funding for GP training

    Tuesday, 10 July 2018 09:39
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  • Scotland update Golden Hello arrangements for GPs

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    Friday, 29 June 2018 15:11
  • Extra £20m funding will go hand-in-hand with a new 10-year plan for the NHS

    Extra £20m funding will go hand-in-hand with a new 10-year plan for the NHS

    Monday, 18 June 2018 17:31

gp-government-fundingApril 1 2015

Doctors’ leaders have welcomed the announcements about investing £350 million in general practice. In addition, an additional 37 pilot schemes in the second wave of in the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund have been announced.

The £350m funding will be used to support bids made by over 1,000 general practices, and is the first tranche of the £1 billion four-year Primary Care Infrastructure Fund. There has already been a ‘kick-start’ of £10m and the remaining amount of 2015-16 Primary Care Infrastructure Fund investment will be allocated at a later date.

Funding will help to improve GP premises “to benefit both patients and professionals working in primary care – either through making improvements to existing buildings or through the creation of new ones,” says NHS England.

“It will also help practices to harness technology and give practices the space to offer more appointments and improved care for the frail elderly in the community – essential in supporting the reduction of hospital admissions. A £190m investment will be made in 2015-16 with additional funding going towards improving IT, through the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund.”

Responding to the announcements, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA GP Committee Chair, said the 1,000 practices who will be receiving grants through this year’s Primary Care Infrastructure Fund will be the first beneficiaries of a prolonged lobbying campaign by the BMA, and that the successful applications are a significant step forward.

“However there is still a long way to go before all GP facilities are fit for purpose to provide patients with the level of service they need, including the kind of out of hospital care envisaged in the Five Year Forward View,” he said.

“As we go forward, we need politicians of all parties to realise that without modern infrastructure, general practice will struggle to deliver the many election pledges that politicians are making. To that end, we look forward to working with NHS England to ensure that in subsequent years the Fund is distributed equitably to all those practices who need it.

Dr Nagpaul also called on NHS England to publish the updated Premise Cost Directions, the ‘rule book’ for GP premises funding decisions as a matter of urgency. “This will ensure that GP premises funding is governed by an open, transparent and fair process that is understood by all,” he said.

With regards the second wave of PM Challenge Fund pilot sites, Dr Nagpaul said that it is vital that the new money be used in ways that meet the needs of patients, and to support practices to ease the pressures on GPs struggling to cope with escalating patient demand.

“There was evidence from the first wave of pilots that despite low demand for appointments, NHS resources were being spent on keeping some practices open on Sundays. Going forward, we must allow pilot sites to implement their funding allocation flexibly and make necessary changes to plans or services to ensure appropriate use of the resources provided.”

In addition, the BMA is concerned that the funding is only guaranteed for one year as it will otherwise “leave practices without resources to continue any successful initiatives in future years. General practice desperately needs increased and sustained long term funding that delivers a comprehensive service to patients.”

Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “This announcement shows that with more funding, GPs and practice teams can improve access to our services and continue to alleviate pressures across the health service by delivering care to patients close to home, where they want and need it most.”

National Association of Primary Care chairman Dr Nav Chana commented: “In order to make a real difference to the health of our communities, we must have the means and the will to build collaborative networks, embrace technology better and recognise the need to develop a different skill mix within and across primary care teams.

“We welcome the announcement from NHSE today identifying the Prime Minister's Challenge Fund second wave pilots and the general practices who will receive the first tranche of the investment fund for primary care infrastructure.

“This additional funding represents a step in the right direction towards creating the capacity for transformational change within primary care. It's also pleasing to hear about the focus on innovation and workforce modelling in many of the bids, which resonate with NAPC’s 7-point plan.”

Links:

NHS England Primary care investment announcement    

NHS England Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund and second wave pilot schemes list    

NHS England Primary care infrastructure fund

BMA response to GP premise funding allocation
   

BMA response to PM’s Challenge Fund pilots    

RCGP response        

NAPC response        

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