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Come up with a plan to make general practice 'sustainable', NHS tells all areas

NHS bosses have told all areas of England to come up with a plan for the ‘sustainability and quality’ of general practice next year.

Planning guidance issued to all CCGs, local authorities and NHS trusts says that this must include addressing both ’workforce and workload issues’ in general practice in 2016/17.

The move comes after the Department of Health announced last week that general practice will receive 4% funding increases every year until 2021.

The planning guidance comes from the ’Five Year Forward View’ bodies – NHS England, NHS Improvement, CQC, NICE, Health Education England and Public Health England.

It gives nine ‘must-dos’ for every area next year, including CCGs ’tackling unwarranted variation in demand’; and getting ‘back on track’ with access standards in A&E, referral to treatment; cancer waiting times and cancer one-year survival rates.

But for GPs, the most important development is that every area of England will have to form a plan on how to ensure general practice is sustainable during 2016/17.

The document says: ’Develop and implement a local plan to address the sustainability and quality of general practice, including workforce and workload issues.’

This comes after Pulse has been campaigning to ‘Stop Practice Closures’ highlighting that general practice in many areas is becoming unsustainable.

An LMC conference in January will also look at emergency measures on how to make general practice sustainable, with some pushing for a vote on industrial action.

The new guidance also sets out the next stages for implementing the new models of care under the Five Year Forward View.

NHS England area teams, CCGs, trusts and local authorities have to propose new geographical ‘local health and care areas’ covering all of England by October 2016.

They will have to write a ’Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) to submit to NHS England by June 2016 setting out how to implement the NHS Five Year Forward View and the Government mandate to NHS England locally by 2021.

The mandate, unveiled last week, saw the Government tell NHS England that half of the country should be covered by new models of general practice by the end of Parliament.

NHS England said that from 2017/18, these STPs will become ‘the single application and approval process’ to access any of the £560bn transformation funding announced in the Government’s Spending Review settlement.

A new CCG Assessment Framework, or ‘scorecard’, will also be introduced, on which NHS England is planning to consult in January, but which will include data on local clinical outcomes.

The document said: ’We are asking every health and care system to come together, to create its own ambitious local blueprint for accelerating its implementation of the Forward View.’

It added that areas that come up with the clearest and most credible STPs will ‘secure the earliest additional funding’.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: ’This guidance sets out the next steps to make the vision set out in the Five Year Forward View a reality. A new approach to how local NHS leaders plan to meet health needs across whole areas will sit alongside the new Sustainability and Transformation Fund established as part of our £560bn funding plan for the NHS.

’Together they will help to ensure the NHS has solid financial foundations from next year, and to transform how care is delivered up to 2021.’

Readers' comments (40)

  • Took Early Retirement

    QUite right John Elder- you were in the Army, weren't you? Over to you mate!
    (I was only in the Scouts and only made it to Assistant Patrol Leader at that!)

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  • If you look at the 9 "must dos" for 2016/17, they all seem to be as unachievable as the demand to sort out GP sustainability, workforce and workload. or
    We're all supposed to be sharing Good Ideas: perhaps NHSE could be asked - persistently - for *its* "Good Ideas" (if any) about how this could be achieved at a local level?
    In particular, I'd like to hear about no 2: "Return the system to aggregate financial balance.This includes econdary care providers delivering efficiency savings through actively engaging with the Lord Carter provider productivity work programme and complying with the maximum total
    agency spend and hourly rates set out by NHS Improvement. CCGs will dditionally be expected to deliver savings by tackling unwarranted variation in demand through implementing the RightCare programme in every locality"
    If this is this - - it sounds as though setting it up will be resource intensive.. which won't help getting back into financial balance!

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  • But why would you want to save a poor service that according to the Chief Inspector [ sort of Japp ] has failed. The Chief Inspector is ashamed to be a GP.
    So am I. But for a different reason. That I have been such a fool, seeing 90% of NHS consultations for 7% of the budget at 5 pound profit per consult and being criticized,and scorned by patients,politicians,papers,peers,
    professors, the other professions, CQC and GMC.

    I wish I could tell everyone, please, please do not be a complete fool like I have been.
    Do NOT become a GP. 50% are frankly depressed, 50% of the rest anxious and the rest just worried.
    Please, please Do something else.

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  • I am not sure that GPs are better than Physicians of 40 years ago. I knew Barrters and Moschcowitz and pseudo -pseudo hypoparathyroidism and Simmond Sheehan and so forth 40 years ago.
    GPs are good, sure, and know about a lot and about things like ADHD, but better than Physicians ? Different and admired for that.
    Hang on, have you spoken to Prof Fields recently? He might think differently.

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  • I use the word Physician in the old sense of the word. Steve Fields sadly has a point. WE relinquished our role years ago. I did the LMCC (Canadian qualification) in 1980. Passed it easily. The consultant rheumatologist sitting next to me failed it three times. The consultant I met the other day didn't even know what bisoprolol was for. Believe me, we know more...

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  • allow retirement at 60.

    solve the GP recruitment crisis.

    or continue the push for retirement at 71 and I'll wish NHS England, DoH and HMG the best of luck with that.

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  • Fu*k off!- all areas tell 'NHS bosses'.

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  • I thought that was the job of the NHS bosses.
    Can intellectual property be claimed?

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  • An example of gross mismanagement, lack of transparency, vanishing of funding given by Councils for Practices passed on from Developers to meet additional patient population needs, not paying sickness reimbursements to GPs for over a year, paying reality/deprivation payments on Exeter statements to only chosen Practices, Federations formed by LMC top brass. All this in just one region of Kent and Medway speaks volumes of the scale of total shambles the whole of NHS is in.
    To beat this, premises funding modelled and offered in a hideous manner so only the chosen ones can avail.
    Now they want a plan? Maybe, let's start by sacking the whole top brass in NHS, liquidating KPCA and NHSE and begin to look for an alternate solution. Get in NHS Fraud Agency to look into all the issues raised above and then ensure these things do not happen again.
    Merry Christmas and a time for contemplation- for those wronged and for the wrong-doers.

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  • Captain England of NHS Titanic is asking the rats on the ship not to disembark yet...while he is preparing his own get away!

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