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GP practices to work with job centres following £1bn investment

GP practices will be expected to work closely with job centres, social services and other community services in return for the £1bn funding promised to primary care, the health secretary announced today.

Addressing the House of Commons, Jeremy Hunt confirmed that £1bn was to be invested in ‘community and primary care facilities’ over the next four years as part of the Autumn Statement, while £200m was to be used to fund pilots of the new ‘Multispecialty Community Providers (MSPs)’ outlined in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View, which will see GPs employing community service providers as well as hospital consultants.

That money, which is being sourced from £1.1 billion worth of fines slapped on misbehaving banks, will be accompanied by £1.7 billion extra investment from the Treasury into ‘front line services’, said the health secretary.

Mr Hunt also announced that CCGs will soon be able to commission public health services as part of the ‘co-commissioning’ drive, as revealed by Pulse in October.

Chancellor George Osborne yesterday announced on the BBC that the Government was to invest in NHS services, and trailled that GP surgeries were to receive £250m a year over the next four years.

The health secretary confirmed this funding in Parliament, and said that new ‘primary care facilities’ would be expected to join with other, non-health, services such as job centres, although provided little more detail about how this would work.

He said: ‘To deliver world-class community care we need much better physical infrastructure. So today I can announce a £1bn investment fund in community and primary care facilities over the next four years. This will pay for new surgeries and community care facilities in the places where people most want them, near their own homes and families. These new primary care facilities will also be encouraged to join up closely with local job centres, social services and other community services.

‘Additionally from the £1.7bn revenue funding we are also announcing we will make £200m available to pilot the new models of care set out in the Forward View. To deliver these new models we will need to support CCGs to take responsibility with partners, for the entire health and care needs of their local populations. So as well as commissioning secondary care from next year they will be given the opportunity to co-commission primary care, specialist care, social care thought the Better Care Fund, and for the first time, if local areas want to do it, public health.

‘The NHS will therefore take the first steps towards true population health commissioning, with care provided by Accountable Care Organisations,’ he concluded.

The statement strongly echoed some of the detail announced in London local area teams’ £810 million plan to reorganise GP services in the capital, announced last week, under which Multispecialty Community Provider-style GP practices would meet regularly with social care, housing and finance advisers.

While that announcement was largely welcomed by local leaders, it came with a warning over allowing Accountable Care Organisations to be run not by GPs but by privately-owned ‘lead providers’.

It also comes after NHS chief executive Simon Stevens exclusively told Pulse that NHS England intended to urgently invest in GP premises from 2015 onwards.

GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘It is good that the Department of Health, NHS England and now the Treasury are all agreeing with GPC on the essential and urgent need to invest in general practice premises. This has been a long battle to get to this point but it is certainly not yet won. The £1bn promised is only a fraction of what is really needed but it is an important start. Clearly as buildings are built or expanded practices will want to develop closer working relationships with others serving their communities and mutually beneficial partnerships could be developed.’

But Dr Brian Balmer, the GPC’s lead negotiator on premises, said: ‘I await the detail as any plans based on political speeches are built on sand. My first question is what is the future for GP ownership?’

Readers' comments (30)

  • I think the plan is to have us sitting in nice shiny new building with every other healthcare/social related person in the same building that WE are overall accountable for..........
    Because no one else will do it, we are being bullied with not many spokespeople to fight back, services are generally failing due to starvation of resources and there has to be someone to blame as the NHS equation can no longer equal a satisfactory result.

    said it before, couldn't design it any better to destroy
    as expected: so many losers on this one and few to hit the really big time.

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  • Welcome to general practice. The consumer dustbin of the medical profession soon to be a dustbin for all of societies ills. We get to do the job because the incompetent government can't engineer a fair honest functioning society.

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  • It is never too late to first improve the existing sub standard premises from where some of the doctors are struggling to provide excellent care rather than trying to to do vote grabbing politics of telling the voters of improving primary care by investing in new Orimary care facilities to provide the so called self branded " World class primary care facilities"!!

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  • Ricardo Gaudoin

    "GP practices will be expected to work closely with job centres"

    Advert in Job Centre.....................'Urgent! GP required' must be able to work long hours-including weekends and OOH on call. good rates of pay for the right canidate. Diagnose certain illnesses and get paid more. Previous applicants need not apply. Govt funded training provided for job seekers who have been unemployed for more than five years. Yes, yet another Hair brained scheme.

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  • another reason why i am leaving at 54. a few years ago would have continued to 60.

    as always so much soundbiting political interference

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  • Job Centres Nowadays resemble something close to Germany between the wars. Most of the seating has been removed, the phones have been removed and A4E security guards are in abundance. Its a very intimidating place to be. The staff sit in an open area of tables where there is no room for confidentiality or privacy. Now the Gov is expecting GPs to work alongside Job centre staff who are fast becoming reviled by the unfortunate unemployed who are treated like cattle and criminals. How long do we think the relationship of Trust between GPs and Patients will last if GPs are forced/coerced to do the Governments bidding in this propaganda exercise?

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  • They want GP's to move into expensive buildings owned by LIFT etc so that GP's are forced to work to their rules or lose their premises.

    Let's get more doctors in place before we start shoving surgeries in buildings that GP's cannot afford and where appointments are not available due to the enormous size of the practice.

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  • I'm leaving aged 51. The Government should be worried at this tsunami of GP loss.

    They think we will put up with whatever work conditions they throw at us. My work conditions remind me of how I was exploited when I was houseman. Well, nearly thirty years later I have enough savings to stick two fingers up to the DOH.

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  • CCGs have retired GPs or people who have made a lot of money from services they commission like over 400k
    Shame we let these guys take over

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  • I'm off out of 46 GP registrars only 1 was staying in the fountry

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