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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)

  • More money, less over regulation, no revalidation, no gmc, no cqc, no or very low indemnity fees

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  • GP unpopular? No wonder. Who wants to work under a dictatorship of ignorant politicians - what do they know about running medical practice? If a NHS is to survive, let the profession say what is needed and inform the government what is required financially
    Retired GP

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  • In spite of seeing 90% of NHS consults on 7% of the NHS budget, in spite of a 50% fall in pay per item over 10 years, we are vilified by all.
    We are a greedy, corner shop, failing profession.
    It is time to fold up GP land in this current form.
    It must be dismantled and I hope it self destructs.
    If there is a cheaper better alternative, Allow Mr Hunt and the various papers, patients, professors and the politicians to find it.
    We should go. It was time a long time ago.
    And only GPC keeps it going to our detriment.

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  • Retiring on 1st April 2016 aged 56. Good luck

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  • It seems that the Government (bunch of self-serving, entitled, arrogant and conceited D’heads) does not wish to govern. Sure it is full of people with theories and opinions but they are clearly “ bad ideas” people who are incapable of delivering anything. Their whole ethos is to concoct impossible plans and then to delegate, privatise and outsource the responsibility for delivering them. Then when the impossible proves to be such, the government points the finger rather than accepting that its ideas were seriously flawed to start with.
    Mr Hunt I don’t know how stupid you think the public is but I sense that they realise you are trying to dupe them. Time to go and maybe run a sweatshop in China – the economy you admire so much.

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  • This is surely an admission of failure by the central planners!

    Er we couldn't stop general practice failing so um er you come up with some plan!

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  • @Anonymous | GP Partner28 Dec 2015 6:04pm

    "Retiring on 1st April 2016 aged 56. Good luck"

    You and many others. In April the NHS will be is serious trouble.

    It will make a great watch but poor patients.

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  • How about get rid of Jeremy and some of those ridiculously overpaid nhs manager beaurucrats with their big fat bonus checks for doing nothing other than making nhs front line staff employment totally miserable.

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  • Ok so .. Get rid of NHS bosses Who get paid for asking people to come up with a plan.
    Ditto CCGs was never going to work .. , only one way traffic, politbureau to proles (NHS workers)
    Let us get on with our job and teach the next gerpneration what professionalism is ( not tick boxing for Tories )

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  • There are great gps out there and I am not a fan of bad practices.

    We have a great service and the alternatives are awful.
    A few of my patients are beating the 2 wk wait by emergency attendances.. Word gets around ..
    Costs will skyrocket and all the gate keeping will be lost.
    Can the NHS survive

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