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NHS England 'in discussion' with GPC over emergency funding to stop practice closures

Exclusive NHS England is in discussion with the GPC over emergency funding to stop GP practice closures, GP leaders have revealed.

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said he went over proposals for a number of short term solutions to address a crisis in general practice with health secretary Jeremy Hunt, the details of which are now being discussed with NHS England.

The list of GPC demands follow negotiations over the new GP contract 2015/16, announced earlier today, and includes a call for ‘immediate support to be given to GP practices ‘at risk of closure as a result of inadequate funding’.

The document, which was shared with GPs today, said: ‘This funding would play a significant role in arresting the domino effect of practice closures and the resulting damage to patient care and confidence in GP services.’

The list of demands from the GPC further includes the setting up of a fund, managed either by CCGs or area teams, from which practices could apply for funding to hire emergency staff including nurses and pharmacies to help reduce patient waiting times for appointments.

The GPC also wants the Government to provide an emergency fund for investment in practice infrastructure and introduce incentives to GPs who return to work or who remain in UK practice rather than going abroad on qualification.

‘This could include, for example, funding to support GPs returning to the profession and flexible career schemes,’ the document said.

The news comes after Mr Hunt said he supported the aims of Stop Practice Closures campaign, saying that he wants to ‘find a fair way of funding general practice’.

Dr Nagpaul told Pulse: ‘We are in active discussion with NHS England after my meeting with Jeremy Hunt on these measures. We have told the Government that general practice will not be sustainable unless these urgent short term measures are implemented pending medium and longer term strategies.’

Pulse launched its Stop Practice Closures campaign after learning that more than 100 practices across the UK had either closed or were actively considering closing as a result of funding cuts and a recruitment crisis.

Click here to read the full list of GPC demands

Readers' comments (7)

  • Vinci Ho

    Anybody had watched the 1999 film 'Being John Malkovich'? where John Cusack found a portal into John Malkovich's mind to see what he was thinking.

    I think we should have a new version called Being Jeremy Hunt.
    He probably thinks his mission of destroying general practice is job well done but also does not believe his party can win the next election . So again like DC he needs to establish more for his own reputation now.
    While our morale is so low , I personally believe the morale amongst those working in NHSE is also very low.
    The war continues ..........

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  • Oh come on Chaand, get real!

    Has no one got any fight at all?

    The current generation of GPs are far too wholesome, polite and nicey-nicey.
    Self-sacrificing to the point of their own ill health.
    I no longer see myself as one of you.
    It's embarrassing.
    I envisage a future population of salaried part time female GPs and IMGs working for peanuts and living in 2 up 2 downs and driving crappy cars.
    If that's what you want, go for it.

    Please, embarrassing colleagues, always remember - it's not about practice closures, it's about good patient care!

    The GPs who spout this drivel are the very ones who go off sick with stress.

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  • It's ridiculous that the GPC have negotiated such poor terms that they are now having to go begging for 'short term solutions' to prevent a 'domino effect of practice closures.'

    How did we ever manage to get here? General practice used to be a great career but being a GP is now completely degrading.

    Doctors have a powerful market advantage given the overwhelming demand for medical care. It is the GPC who should be calling the shots in these negotiations, after all they could simply pull the plug on the NHS. Instead they elect to stand back and watch NHS primary care collapse. Shame on you!

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  • They are not being nicey-nicey (as described above),but using the lever provided by an impending election to derive some additional funding.
    Having said that I am not sure who the GPC represents. Is it GPs or it just their own large practices?

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  • Shame on you, Chand. Please stand up for GPs. Say no, instead of begging all the time. Look around you at the state of GPs - so, so unhappy, bullied and badgered. We have suffered a massive reduction in pay per item, which no other NHS worker has endured. If you continue in this vein and do not stand up, there will be no General Practice and you will be responsible for the devastation. For certain.

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  • unfortunately the GPC can only be as strong as its members.

    There are many active GP partners out there, but the younger largely salaried and part time work force are a very different group. They seem to under rate their own skills and often work part time where this is additional household income.

    They are not interested in the greater political fight and as long as they get paid they don't care. Very dangerous to have this type of doctor.
    In the US problem never exists as huge personal loans for most doctors does keep the mind focused on self worth.

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  • ...if Jeremy Hunt asked all GPs to learn the Chinese Phone Book for ,say Beijing by heart all most GPs would ask would be : how fast and how much money is attached to this DES/Les ...

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