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Independents' Day

NHS England hails 8% increase in general practice funding

NHS England has hailed its effort to boost funding going towards general practice since it was founded.

Since taking over NHS commissioning in 2013, NHS England said that there had been an 8% increase to investment, and a cash increase over five years of almost a quarter.

Its Five Year Forward View delivery plan, published today, said that 'in the years prior to the creation of NHS England, investment in general practice was falling in real terms', but that 'each year since the establishment of NHS England we have made sure it has gone up, with real terms funding increasing by 8% over the past three years'.

And NHS England primary care director Dr Arvind Madan told Pulse: 'Since NHS England was born, we are up 8% on investment in general practice. The 2016/17 outturn is £500m more than 15/16 and £1bn more than 2014/15. That is a 14% real terms increase in investment and a 24% cash increase over five years.

'The global sum has seen a big shift in the last year of 5.9%. There is clarity over the £171m from CCGs and some changes in the contract around the CQC being reimbursed and indemnity clarity, sickness reimbursement and payments for a number of other areas. And a shift in the AUA funding. The funding is clearer.'

NHS England also highlighted among achievements its rescue efforts for vulnerable practices, which comprised of the £10m 'new deal' package followed by another £40 Resilience Fund in last year's GP Forward View.

This comes as it has simultaneously been criticised by the RCGP and the GPC for the funding not reaching practices fast enough, before they closed, and by local leaders for 'rushing' funding out to meet targets.

NHS England said its 'key primary care achievements so far' since the Five Year Forward View was published in 2014 included:

  • 17 million people now able to access GP appointments at evenings and weekends.
  • Increased investment in general practice in 2016/17 – with estimated outturn of at least an additional £500 million more than 2015/16 – and an additional £1 billion more than 2014/15. Real terms funding is also up 8% over the past three years since NHS England was established;
  • 491 clinical pharmacists working in and across 658 practices, with co-funding from NHS England;
  • Significant additional investment in GP premises and technology, with over 800 new schemes identified during 2016-2019;
  • Numbers entering GP training are up 10% since 2015.
  • Figures show over 1,200 practices have already benefitted from £21 million of resilience and support funding.

It also listed 'key improvements to come' as:

  • By March 2018, at least 40%, of the country will benefit from extended access to GP appointments at evenings and weekends but with an aim of 50%. By March 2019 this will extend to 100% of the country.
  • Increase pharmacists in general practice to over 900 by March 2018 and over 1300 by March 2019.
  • 800 mental health therapists in general practice by March 2018 rising to over 1500 by March 2019.
  • 800 infrastructure projects are identified for Estates and Technology Transformation Fund investment in the coming years.

Dr Madan said: 'If we look back to where general practice was a year ago, I think we have made significant progress but the journey is far from over. The measures we are setting out today will continue to build momentum behind the wider transformation of primary care and help us deliver the high quality, flexible health service that is needed in the face of ever-rising patient demand.'


Readers' comments (13)

  • Total BS on the ground we are cut to the bone and funding is no keeping up with REAL health inflation.

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  • ...and physicians assistants are riding unicorns in the sky outside Richmond House in Westminster, and all GPs are brought strawberry ice cream in golden goblets by pixies at 4pm each afternoon, and literally hundreds of GPs are boarding boats from Australia back to the UK, and all is well in the World According to Arvind. Hurrah for Arvind!

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  • Cobblers

    Cor! Read that load of sh1te and realised it was complete civil servant obfuscation. A doctor morphed into a apparatchik.

    How easy would it have been to say "We will pay GPs more and reduce the worload".

    Trouble is they are reaping what they have sowed. The red tops would not allow such a sentence. "Fat Cat GPs" they would scream. No politician would tolerate that.

    We are, I am afraid, condemned to a slow car crash. Only after that will the new GP Phoenix rise from the ashes and a pay per consult system spring up.

    Cassandra moi!

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  • Big Blinkers!

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  • unbelievable comment completely at odds with the reality. The 5.9% shift in the global sum is a result of relocation of existing money. Neither has the proposed money from GP5YF being used here found its way into primary care never mind general practice! PMS and GMS redistribution has not helped and has been cost neutral to NHSE. Cuts to seniority. Many practices being taken advantage of by NHSpropco and struggling. My practice gross income is now the same as it was in 2003. This is the reality. Arvind, do you REALLY believe what you are saying?

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  • In addition, the pharmacist scheme;after 3 years practices have to find the funding themselves. From what? Its a short term investment /pump priming which will not be sustainable. Likewise the new initiative herding practices into groups of 30-50 thousand. Have applied x2 for resilience funding with no success. Mental health therapists is a fiddle including current IAPT services not additional. Most of the funding mentioned has not even been spent and unlikely to be spent. Most wasted on silly initiatives like "collaborative working " workshops and GP improvement leader program all tendered out at high consultancy rates to companies like PCC (primary care commissioning). I can go on and on with whats wrong with the picture. At least lets have some honesty Arvind.

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  • Just received that email proudly circulated by our proud CCG. NHSE hails.....have we not heard about 'Hail'ing in history, probably had something to do with belittling people to dehumanization beyond recognition - well, it's our turn as mere GPs and NHSE hails a success only we don't see the joke.

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  • MORE "FAKE NEWS"......YAWN....

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  • Rogue1

    I thought it was April the 1st (well its close enough that's tomorrow)
    Nice joke before Easter, unfortunately some will swallow it hook, line and sinker !

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  • National Hopeless Service

    Must be a hole in my NHS bucket.

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