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Independents' Day

GPs must 'help themselves' to GP Forward View rescue package

GPs are going to have to be proactive if they want to be helped by the Government’s rescue deal, NHS England’s head of general practice development has warned.

Speaking today at the Pulse Live conference in London, Dr Robert Varnam said last year’s £2.4bn General Practice Forward View deal was different than other policy announcements in that ‘some of it… is absolutely all in the hands of practices ourselves to decide if we want it and to be active in using it’.

According to Dr Varnam, who is also a GP in Manchester, the GP Forward View’s suggestions for ‘redesigning’ general practice was all ‘about helping practices help ourselves’.

In the session, Dr Varnam admitted that ‘a decade or more of failed leadership and failed planning at a national level’ had got GPs ‘into an unbearable situation’, but he suggested the GP Forward View now offered solutions to which GPs now can only help themselves.

He suggested this includied employing nurses and pharmacists to delegate workload and free up GP time, as well as encouraging self care and working in larger collaborations with other GP practices.

He said: ‘Actually none of those can be changed by anyone except me and my team in the practice.

‘That is I think a big thing about this which is different.’

His comments come as the RCGP has warned that measures from the GP Forward View are not materialising quickly enough to help especially vulnerable practices.

Dr Varnam admitted that the first year for helping practice at risk had been ‘excruciatingly disappointing’, but stressed NHS England had learned from the mistakes.

Last week, Pulse reported on GP leaders’ concern that NHS England was now ‘rushing’ vulnerable practice funding, although NHS England said it was ‘perverse’ that it was accused of both being too slow and too quick about distributing the funding.

Finally, asked by a GP delegate what to do if they were suspecting CCGs were not getting GP Forward View money and opportunities through to practices, Dr Varnam invited all GPs to email NHS England their concern on the address


Readers' comments (9)

  • how can anything be "in the hands of the practices to decide...and use it", when we are tied to a giant contractor who acts with complete impunity as it has total monopoly in whole healthcare industry. practices are trembling under ever increasing workload and under-funding orchestrated by NHSE. all that changed this year is managerial jargon.

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  • Sorry, how does a Practice of 4000 with funds insufficient to employ a f/t GP and Nurse fund a Pharmacist and other staff.
    Wake up please. These opportunities are for connected GPs and not for run of the mill colleagues who won't see a penny. Until you hack the hydra's head the tentacles keep clawing at your throats; and the tentacles of NHSE are equipped with cups strong enough to suck the system dry.

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  • ...the 2.4 billion is a myth!

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  • GPs need to set up their own model independent of thses guys!

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  • Why would any self respecting doctor with even a modicum of political awareness sit through such a conference presentation?

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  • land

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  • Vinci Ho

    (1) As a preacher of the 'bible'( which in this case , is called GPFV) , he had said what was expected from him. We have seen subordinates of NHSE coming and going . Minimal expectation , minimal disappointment , folks .
    (2)Like to read the lessons NHSE had learnt from these mistakes. Give you the credit when you show them to us.
    (3) E-mailing NHSE , is there really different from asking people to simply write to their MPs of the constituency for things they are not happy about?

    Defend the indefensible is hard .
    Defend the ambiguious is even harder.
    Hope you have not sacrificed meaning in exchange of power......

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  • Thes people hole the medical profession in contempt,they think we are thick.Why do they think we are haemorraging our life blood for every orrifice as there are stampeeds for the door.These politicians are the ignorant ones,they are the ones to blame when the system utterly collapses in the forever winter.

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  • Dr Varnam, You are advising us to be proactive and go for the money. I'll give you an example unaccountability.
    We had been chasing £186000 given to Medway Council to support Strood Practices allocated from a housing development in Halling in 2010. Only now in 2017 after getting our local MP, Kellie Tolhurst, involved were we able to find the money. It was a shock when Kellie informed us that she had not found £186k instead she had found £1 million of unused money given during the past 6 years to NHSE for Medway Surgeries.
    A month ago CCG informed us that they have now been given access but they are not sure how and where they can use it - ie lack of knowledge re regulations governing use of 106 monies. Which shows that 106 monies have never ever been used for the purpose of supporting primary care when buildings crop up around Surgeries overwhelming them.
    If it was a million for Medway alone, what is the scale of monies hoarded and siphoned off from all developments in Kent and England as a whole? Nobody will ever find out.
    The need for transparency and accountability,naming and shaming of NHS officials involved in these systems is getting more desperate. You can't run a system where the government allows shady working patterns at the local level. We in Medway thank our local MP Kelly Tolhurst for being the first one to take the matter straight to her colleagues in Westminter and getting this resolved.
    Instead of striving to squeeze the last breath from our lungs, we should be trying to promote transparency and then the funds available may help - every little does.

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