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Independents' Day

We have not done enough for vulnerable practices, admits NHS chief

NHS chiefs have not done enough to save struggling practices from closing, the lead on primary care at NHS England has admitted, following a Pulse investigation on the 'vulnerable practices' fund.

Dr Arvind Madan, director of primary care at NHS England, told the RCGP annual conference that saving vulnerable practices should be the ‘number one priority’ but conceded money from the Government’s £10m vulnerable practices fund had not been transferred to practices quickly enough.

He added that although the vulnerable practices scheme had been running some time, ‘frankly I don’t think we have done well enough at getting the money out the door to practices that in trouble’.

It comes after Pulse revealed that the 800-plus practices identified as being at risk of collapse by NHS England 10 months ago have received barely any funding

Dr Madan said that the ‘ambition now is to get that [money] out the door to practices by the end of the month'.

He emphasised that NHS England's 'first priority in the coming year has to be to stabilise general practice, it has to be stop practices handing back contracts for reasons beyond their control'.

'Each of those scenarios is a tragedy for patients, for practices, for everybody,' Dr Madan said.

In addition to the vulnerable practices scheme, Dr Madan stressed that £16m of the total general practice resilience fund of £40m is to be spent this financial year.

He said this meant ‘whatever it takes to keep a practice open and running, in a way that is responsible to the taxpayer, [having] a strategy and a plan for how that practice recovers or merges or whatever is their right solution’ and that it would provide ‘real, meaningful support being delivered very quickly in order to stabilise that position’.



Readers' comments (13)

  • crocodile tears

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  • Well said and well done Dr Madan

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  • Not done much is a misnomer. Practices like mine have been hammered under the guise of the formula and punished for taking patients. When the list size was 3000, weighted list paid for was 2800, today the list size is 4000 and weighted list is only 3460. Was it worth taking on patients and why is Open Exeter not able to pick up the increase in number of patients above 65 in successive quarters? resulting in a discrepancy in over 65s on the factual list and a reduced number every quarter on the Open Exeter capitation calculations.
    Corruption at the local NHSE levels and maybe at the order of our esteemed Jeremy Hunt and the PM herself is the problem in this country. NHS Fraud is a bloody dead institution and we should cremate it and save some public funds.

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  • Deliberately killing us. The most bonkers comment ever.

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  • ‘frankly I don’t think we have done well enough at getting the money out the door to practices that in trouble’.

    Will anybody at NHSE face any consequences for this failing?

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  • A weak apology, a half-hearted shrug of the shoulders, and Arvind and NHSE feel themselves absolved of any responsibility and any need to face consequences for their actions and inactions.
    This is all falling apart pretty quickly, and yet somehow will still not be anyone's fault?

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  • After a fairly disastrous 18 months when our team was decimated, we did receive £30,000 vulnerable practice funding in April. This was welcome. However, as we were (finally) able to recruit, the problem was that the money could not be back-dated, and the funding had to be matched pound for pound by new spending on locum cover, which by then was not required.
    It's galling that having worked 70 hour weeks for a year - working the equivalent of almost 2 full-time jobs - my net earnings fell by over £10,000

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  • The Sustainability and Transformation Plan launched by NHS England does not address any of the NHS's current pressing needs with regard to finance, patient demand, clinical standards, care home access, or organisational requirements. I suggest we oppose it, hook line and sinker especially as almost no-one knows about it so it it all being kept in the dark. It is the sort of large re-organisaiton which usually requires an Act of Parliament and debate in Parliament with public discussion. Or is it just a devolution to local management to aid privatisation and the establishment of a USA style of healthcare which costs three times as much as the NHS but treats only one third of its patients? Questions such as what it will cost, where the money will come from and who shall pay for it have not been addressed.

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  • I am sorry that we didnt do enough to diagnose your cancer earlier Mrs Sproggs........

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  • It's not a tragedy for Hurley Medical group though is it? They seemed to have benefited from the tsunami of London practices handing back their contracts. Moi? Cynical? Mais non!

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