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Hunt hints at additional funding requirements for seven-day pilots

Seven-day GP access pilots established with one-off investment from the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund could see an extra injection of funding to maintain them, the health secretary has said.

In a debate on health in Parliament today, Mr Hunt said the Department of Health was investigating way to maintain funding and prevent ‘turning the clock back’ on successful extended hours pilots.

Pilot areas that received start-up funding in the first and second wave of the fund were supposed to become self-sustaining by cutting the number of A&E attendances at weekends and evenings that could otherwise be seen by a GP but Pulse has reported that almost half of the pilots have already reduced opening hours, amid lacking patient demand and uncertainty over future funding.

Mr Hunt was responding to the Conservative MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, Jesse Norman, who asked for assurances that his local seven-day working pilots will be ‘funded to continue’ because it’s doing an ‘extraordinarily good job’ for constituents.

Mr Hunt said: ‘We are very pleased with the progress made in Herefordshire and many other areas, and we’re looking at how to maintain funding for those areas.

‘Already 16 million people are benefitting from enhanced access to GPs in the evenings and weekends, and we wouldn’t want to see the clock turned back on that.’

 

Readers' comments (24)

  • Pilot schemes work because they are funded ... jump starting is "NOT SUSTAINABLE" in your own words J.Hunt.
    ...check the small print ' Supposed to become self-sustaining! '....only time will tell...

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  • X.Ray

    head - wall - bang, bang, bang.......

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  • more lies every time he opens his mouth. when will it stop.

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  • What is not being delivered in order to deliver routine GP services at the weekend?
    There is always an opportunity cost.

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  • We have a PMCF in our area and even though our practice is not a part of the federation that is delivering the pilot for the area, it is a great resource to fall back on when the demand for same day appointments spikes.

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  • Ivan Benett

    Rog Neal | GP Partner05 Jan 2016 5:06pm

    'head - wall - bang, bang, bang.......'

    Stop banging your head and accept the new world. It will hurt a lot less and people won't think your a head-hanger.

    7 day access & provision is the new world, but needs resources including workforce. It won't happen over night, but it needs to happen to make the NHS equitable, maximise use of assets, reduce hospital activity and ultimately make the NHS sustainable. The alternative is a health insurance system which is not a political option, even for a Tory government.

    Once you stop banging your head....you'll be able to smell the coffee. Everyone benefits from increasing the capacity of the NHS

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  • Manchester can smell coffee - quite heartening. I can see that our next Health Secretary is from Manchester - chosen by Cameron for his experiments and counting on the money he is going to get from Hunt. Carry on but remember, you can end up at the wrong end of the stick and what then? You might get an OBE but the flock behind you is going to be chopped for next Christmas.

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  • Ivan, enough of your twaddle.

    Your services need an injection of cash to help keep them running - not a sustainable model. Please provide us all with some information as to how much it is costing the taxpayer for one of your patients to be seen as part of the '7 day access' scheme.

    Enough already

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  • Ivan - Surely an insurance backed approach, co-pay or the Guernsey Option is the best resort. Currently we can't afford your 7 day experiment, let alone to do it nationally. The best solution is to bring in extra money and let people pay to be seen when they want to be.

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  • NHS GP is under funded for what it is adked to deliver.
    Stop chopping up bits of funding to provide a service somewhere lauded to be wonderful but not give the sam finance elsewhere and be threatening to impose without funding in a new contract. What some GPs aren't understanding and the government is that a lot of us are ball busting and cannot give anymore. Give us the Doctors Nurses HCAs and funds to do it and you won't need 7 day routine access. 5 full days with commuter services that we can discriminate positevly for will manage. the costs will be lkess than fully staffing weekend services and far mor attractive to most of us with families. LISTEN JEREMEY- FUND 5 DAYD PROPERLY AND YOU'LL GET A GREAT ROUTINE SERVICE. SOME OF US WORKING IN A GREAT ENVIRONMENT MAY EVEN BE REFRESHED TO 'ENJOY' SOME OOH WORK AS WELL. WE DID PRE-2004 BEFORE ALL THE QoF DES LES THAT YOU HAVE CONTINUED AND MADE HARDER.

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