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NHS Confederation calls for primary care to receive greater funding share

GP and community services should recieve a higher proportion of NHS spend to enable more care to be carried outside hospital, says the head of the NHS Confederation.

In his New Year’s message, Mike Farrar said he would like to see ‘more investment in primary, community, mental health and social care services as a proportion of the total spend’.

He added: ‘For instance, untreated mental illness costs the NHS over £10billion in physical healthcare costs every year. And delayed transfers in care – often a result of the right support not being in place - currently cost the NHS £545,000 per day (approximately £200 million per year).

‘Increasing money in these areas will help keep people out of hospital and leading independent lives, accessing care in their own homes, or closer to home.’

Mr Farrar also called on clinicians to ‘provide a better explanation of safe and effective cases for change that will improve the quality of local services’ and support ‘courageous politicians who put their population’s health above their own electoral health’.

He added: ‘If we want to ensure that our health service is improving in the long-term, not just running to stand still, then fundamental change is necessary. We should all be concerned about the future of the NHS and we should all be active in finding the best solutions.’

Readers' comments (6)

  • This is commen sense.
    What is holding up reforms is the
    Lack of investment in General Practice for the
    Last 6-7 years.(claw back for earlier rise)
    We just get the old propoganda of gps being
    Over paid and under worked!
    There will be no real progress on reforms
    Without honesty which this government seems to
    have a lack .

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  • In agreement if the funding follows the patient then these objectives can be acheived and delivered. Statements such as embedded in practice or giving on the one hand and taking away double with the other hand will not bring about the changes needed in community healthcare services. The Government does need to seriously review what it is doing and open up mature dialogue with GP'S. It should seek a cohesive and working together approach to tackling the serious issues facing the NHS. An autocratic approach rarely yields results, most business leaders would agree that you are successful if you have a good commited team with clearly defined objectives which are agreed and achievable.

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  • Same old same old....delay in transfer out of a bed - ask the squeezed local council what they need. More money in primary care - where from? bankrupt Acutes?

    Mike Farrar is one of the good guys but this is just more of the same rhetoric. We need to change the way healthcare is funded and start to plan what we need as the NHS rather than put the onus on individual providers under a tariff.

    PCT Finance Manager

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  • Vinci Ho

    Courageous politicians who put their population 's health above their electoral health .
    Very politely and nicely put , Mr Farrar.
    Interesting that even NHS Confederation is critical and ,I am sure , unhappy of the 'things' the government has done to NHS........

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  • We can only realistically change the current situation by following patient journeys, adding up the cost and doing some systems mapping. I have no doubt that there are lots of unnecessary steps in each journey which could be avoided with better assessment and planning of need. With a move to a community model, finances will have to follow, but with less medication used and more appropriate therapy services hopefully the model could even be cheaper. Joint budgets between health and social care with real integration of records will make a huge difference to care and quality for our patients.

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  • I have been in the NHS now for just over 4 years operating at PCT, SHA and Community Services both as a permanent and interim Executive Manager. Years ago I was an Air Traffic Controller and the job of getting an aircarft from A to B safely, efficently and as cheaply as possible was business as usual. Why can't we do the same with patients?

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