General Practice Forward View Announcements
NHS England published the General Practice Forward View in April this year. It set out a plan, backed by a multi-billion pound investment, to stabilise and transform general practice.
It includes practical and funded actions in five areas; investment, workforce, workload, infrastructure and care redesign. It sets out our ambition to invest a further £2.4billion a year by 2020/21 into supporting general practice services. This represents a 14% real terms increase – almost double the 8% real terms increase for the rest of the NHS. It increases the proportion of investment in general practice services by 2020/21 to over 10%.
Three months on, the NHS England Board has today provided an update on progress against commitments set out in the General Practice Forward View. You can read the Board paper here.
GP indemnity proposals
A key concern within general practice in recent years is the ongoing rise in the costs of indemnity. The General Practice Forward View recognises these concerns. In May, NHS England and the Department of Health established a GP Indemnity Review group to consider proposals to address the rising costs of indemnity in general practice, working with the profession and medical defence organisations. The review concluded the best way to relieve the immediate pressure was through a new and tailored scheme to provide direct financial support to general practice whilst developing actions to resolve the long-term drivers of increased costs. More details are available here.
General Practice Resilience Programme – implementation guidance
NHS England has published the guidance on the implementation of the General Practice Resilience Programme (GPRP). This guidance describes how the new GPRP will operate to deliver the commitment set out in the General Practice Forward view to invest £40m over the next four years to support struggling practices. This programme aims to deliver a menu of support that will help practices to become more sustainable and resilient, better placed to tackle the challenges they face now and into the future, and securing continuing high quality care for patients.
General practice national development programme
The General Practice Forward View announced a new three year £30 million national development programme to support practices to manage their workload differently, freeing up time for GPs and improving care for patients. The programme has now been officially launched. It will provide tailored support for groups of practices to implement the 10 High Impact Actions to release time for care. Practices or their CCG can submit an expression of interest form any time until summer 2018. They will be allocated an expert development advisor, who will help them plan their own Time for Care programme. Over the course of a typical 9-12 month programme, most practices could expect to release about 10% of GP time. Also available are free places on the General Practice Improvement Leaders programme, to build capabilities for improvement and change leadership in practices and federations. NHS England is also providing a new £45m fund over the next five years to support training for reception and clerical staff and, from 2017/18, a new £45m three-year fund to support purchase of online consultation systems. More details are available here.
Retained doctor scheme - extra resources for GPs and practices
NHS England has published new guidance on the existing Retained Doctor Scheme which increases financial incentives to support GPs who might otherwise leave the profession to remain in clinical general practice. Although the Retained Doctor Scheme has been in place for many years the 2016 scheme delivers a number of improvements. From July 2016, NHS England is increasing the money received by practices employing a retained GP and the annual payment which GPs on the scheme receive towards professional expenses. The additional support is available to doctors already on the scheme and those doctors joining the scheme and in post before 31 March 2017.
Improving how hospitals work with general practice – new requirements on hospitals in the NHS Standard Contract 2016/17
Matthew Swindells, NHS England National Director for Operations and Information, and Bob Alexander, NHS Improvement Deputy Chief Executive, have today written out to CCGs and NHS Trusts to highlight the importance of ensuring that the six new requirements for hospitals, which were introduced in the 2016/17 NHS Standard Contract. The letter clarifies the expectations across the hospital and general practice interface and reduce avoidable extra workload for GPs, are fully implemented in a robust and timely way. You can read the letter here.
Under the practice resilience programme, each region will receive a fair share of the available funding as follows:
|Local Team||£16 M Share 16/17||£8M Share (2018-indicative)|
|North West London||£626,000||£323,000|
|Cheshire and Merseyside||£716,000||£358,000|
|Cumbria and North East||£904,000||£452,000|
|North East London||£1004,000||£502,000|
|Lanacashire (share of)||£1250,000||£625,000|
|Greater Manchester (share of)||£1250,000||£625,000|
|Yorkshire and Humber||£1594,000||£797,000|