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Extra 'named GP' funding in doubt as CCGs struggle to stump up cash

Exclusive Some GPs may not receive the additional £5 per patient funding supposed to support the new contractual responsibility to be a ‘named GP’ - and those that do may have to undertake additional work - a Pulse investigation reveals.

As many as a third of CCGs have yet to decide if they will offer GPs the extra money, which has been promised by NHS England and the health secretary and is due to begin in April, with one CCG admitting it is waiting on uncertain ‘quality premium’ payments before committing to paying GPs.

Among those who are to offer the funding, meanwhile, many have yet to determine what extra work it may be tied to over and above the new named GP duties, with one CCG planning to commission ‘additional services’ and two others in the process of negotiating ‘baseline outcomes’.

LMC leaders warned that CCGs were likely to struggle to find additional cash to fund GPs’ new duties.

It is a new contractual requirement that practices in England ensure that from April there is a named, accountable GP assigned to every patient aged 75 years and over, with the GP responsible for coordinating and overseeing that patient’s care.

In its ‘Everyone Counts’ guidance, NHS England instructed CCGs to ‘support practices in transforming the care of patients aged 75 or older and reducing avoidable admissions by providing funding for practice plans to do so’. It said this funding ‘should be at around £5 per head of population for each practice, which broadly equates to £50 for patients aged 75 and over’, and said GPs could propose this funding pay for new general practice services or be invested in other community services such as district nursing or emergency response nursing teams.

In an interview with Pulse last month, health secretary Jeremy Hunt also explicitly promised the extra funding would be used to support the new ‘named GP’ responsibility.

He said: ‘It’s a very big change, and there’s a lot of extra work, but that’s why we’ve removed 40% of the QOF targets to help free up GPs’ time, and we’ve also put in extra resources. The extra £5 [per patient funding] is a reflection of the fact that we know that to deliver better care we need more capacity in the system.’

But of the 50 CCGs who responded to an enquiry from Pulse this week, 18 were unable to confirm that they would be able to provide the £5 per patient funding.

One CCG, NHS South Gloucestershire, even admitted it was waiting on whether it would receive the whole ‘quality premium’ funding before committing to the investment.

An NHS South Gloucestershire CCG spokesperson told Pulse: ‘There is no new money in the system to easily fund this requirement. If the CCG achieves the quality premium this will enable us to invest in the fund, which is based on £5 per head of the population.’

In other areas, CCGs were also unable to commit to providing the extra money.

A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG said: ‘We are not in a position to answer questions on this, as the debate about this funding has not been completed.’

A spokesperson for all 12 CCGs in the North East said they were ‘working closely with NHS England to develop their detailed plans for the next financial year, including enhanced services for vulnerable patients and those with complex physical or mental health needs’.

Dr Ken Megson, medical secretary of Gateshead and South Tyneside LMC, predicted CCGs would struggle to find the funding.

He said: ‘There is no new money available. What CCGs will do is take money out of secondary care and slosh it into primary care. It’s not about giving GPs £5 a head to do things differently, but giving services such as district nursing some money to keep people in the community.’

Most of the 32 CCGs who said they would offer GPs an extra £5 per patient said they had yet to decide how the money would be offered. But a number did confirm that it would involve GPs taking on additional work over and above being a ‘named GP’.

A spokesperson for NHS Southampton City CCG said: ‘The funding will be used to commission additional services to support patients in line with our commissioning strategy on behalf of our practices. We are currently in discussions with all of our member practices on how best to invest this funding.’

NHS South Cheshire CCG and NHS Vale Royal CCG said the CCGs had taken an ‘innovative approach’ and were working with GP federations on ‘negotiating baseline outcomes’.

Dr Nigel Watson, chair of Wessex LMCs, said the £5 per patient funding could be used for positive change, but expressed fears that the promised money might not materialise.

He said: ‘There is a real opportunity to embed community nursing services with GP practices and provide integrated services. There could be primary health care teams led by GPs and supported by nurses working in partnership with practices. If you gave GPs £150,000 each and asked them to develop services there could be some imaginative schemes, but at the moment it seems like a lot of talk.’

Readers' comments (44)

  • Anonymous at 11.11am. Identify yourself or hide behind the moniker

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  • @ 11.11am
    I deal with consultants regularly in my work (I am a GP) and find most of them are overpaid lazy pompous twerps with a penchant for private work at the expense of doing their allocated NHS duties.
    Like many GPs, I am extremely well qualified with multiple postgraduate qualifications and consider myself an expert in many areas.
    You and your colleagues, however, know your own subject (a bit) and absolutely nothing else.
    You send us homework which you can't be bothered to do yourselves.
    You make multiple errors in your discharge letters, if we ever get them at all.
    Your clinic admin is awful resulting in missed and delayed appointments for my patients.
    Your arrogance is so striking it almost appears from a byegone age.
    It drives a further wedge between primary and secondary care and shows you to be what we all suspected anyway, a bunch of ludicrous tosspots.

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  • @11.11.....probably financial consultant from nhs England ..not a proper one...ignore him!Obvious troll.

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  • On the serious point, It'll be difficult to push this through as a contractual requirement. I suspect this is a leaked story to try and distract from other issues or they will try and pile a lot of work with this 'extra' funding.

    The GPC can only negotiate for us if we're behinf them, we're not - we are divided with mnay competing agendas. there are many GP's who effectively don't need to care about the pennies as many of us do. Especially those in academia or NHS england roles and they feel free to pontificate without any consequence

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  • 11.44. Wow made my day!
    However just like the majority of GPs, the minority give us the bad name. Consultants are the same but can hide behind their 'employed by the trust, fulfiling my contract arguement.'
    I have a good relationship with a lot of consultants and they are as disillusioned as we are.
    We (the collective profession) have let the governments divide us, place idiotic contracts on us and we've rolled over and had our tummys tickled because of not wanting to upset or put patients safety at risk, as we know who'll get the blame. We may/should sacrifice goodwill now to protect the future patient from insurance based medicine. 46% of bankruptcies in the US have medical fees contributinng towards them; who only knows how many deaths or years would be saved it people could afford to see the doctor. Fight now to save this happening to us as a whole profession or we can carry on hiding behind the arguements as mentioned above.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Old Chinese saying:-
    When the lips die away ,the teeth are exposed cold.

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  • I'll bet even 11 11 is registered with a GP. Not sure he would open any consultation with the balls he wrote annon.

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  • Can we please just ignore the fool (11:11) that claims he is a consultant. He is not a consultant. Many consultants are wonderful people to work with.
    He is likely one of those people who think they know how it works in medical practice which is their way of covering their ignorance, regret and hatred for their inability to actually make something useful out of themselves.

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  • 11.11am---another DAILY MAIL JOURNALIST or some related Freelance nutter.
    P*** *** you ridiculous imposter.

    PULSE magazine....either barr this person's account for impersonation/misuse or you will end up with no readers because nobody trusts you anymore. I understand it stimulates debate but Newsnight do not stimulate debate by having fake politicians doing interviews, do they??

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