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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)

  • A good start would be to stop treating us like shit.
    Maybe also stop bullying us via your "media chums"
    Thirdly give Hunt the heave ho for Christmas!

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  • Another Dictat from NHS England. They have messed everything up and could not have planned the implosion of the NHS better if they had actually tried to and now a mindless stupid Dictat to the actual hard workers who are the survivors.... sort the mess out !!!!

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  • Sorry but an order from The Ivory Tower is going to help how? Yet more meaningless twaddle, supported by stupid action plans, written by folk who haven't got a clue. Why would anyone want to access 'transformation' funding? It's relentless transformation that's caused the problem. Stop promising patients the earth for a budget of thruppence hapenny.

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  • They are trying to make working in the NHS like living in the planned Soviet economies of the 1930s with central incompetent diktat allied to inadequate resourcing. Eventually we will be so brow beaten we will be gladly herded into the
    market economies represented by Virgin Health and all these horrid little private companies set up by quisling GPs. We recently advertised for a new partner and received two applications -30 years ago there would have been a 100. Until that reality has been sorted out all manner of "Five year forward view"s (how soviet is that by the way!) are no more than footnotes in the history of the death of the NHS.

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  • Vinci Ho

    ’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'

    Seriously ?
    It is sad if one has to say something even oneself does not believe. Paid a decent salary by the emperor , bear all worries for the emperor .
    So from next year , if any more GP surgery is closed , NHSE and the CCG should be 'punished'?

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  • How about "pay us properly then leave us alone"?

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  • This is simply a ploy to blame local CCGs for the collapse, whilst Hunt and Simon Stevens and Steve Field continue the destruction at national level.

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  • General practice has already imploded and if you don't have plans to retire or emigrate, then work within the new realities.

    All this crying over spilt milk is undignified.

    Practice losing money? = Close the damn thing and go salaried, it's the employees market at the moment and a GP post with one year of experience can easily earn £9.5k per session with NHS Pension and MDU fees thrown in.

    Ironically, this makes our salaried GP's slightly better paid for their time than senior partners, but partners have other perks in the equation.

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  • The commissars continue the collectivisation process.WELL DONE!

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  • I have an answer:
    £££ via taxes
    OR
    £££ via optional co payments

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