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GPs go forth

BMA calls for ‘similar support’ for GPs as hospitals handed £145m winter bailout

GP leaders have called on NHS England to provide 'similar support' to GP practices after trusts were given a multi-million pound winter bailout today.

BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey said NHS England should ‘set the right example’ as CCGs work with practices to plan for winter pressures.

His calls come as NHS England unveiled a £145m investment for hospital trusts today, to help them cope with an increase in demand through winter.

Yesterday, NHS England announced a £10m fund to cover indemnity for GPs who commit to work extra shifts in extended hours, out-of-hours and unscheduled care sessions through winter.

But Dr Vautrey said: ‘The winter indemnity scheme is welcome, and extended access services will offer some extra capacity, but there is also a need to recognise the day-to-day pressures every practice will face throughout the winter period and beyond.’

NHS England's board papers, published today, said £145m extra investment for trusts will ‘increase beds, A&E capacity, same-day emergency care, and acute mental health services ahead of this winter’.

With regards to GP services, they suggest pressures will be relieved by the winter indemnity fund, the planned further rollout of extended evening and weekend appointments from 1 October, as well as the new more effective flu vaccine for over-65s.

Dr Vautrey said: ‘Whilst most CCGs will be working with practices as part of their winter planning it’s important that NHS England sets the right example and is much clearer in papers, such as this, their commitment to providing similar support to general practice and community based services.'

Kent LMC medical secretary Dr John Allingham said it was 'difficult to see' how the £10m winter indemnity fund would 'make much or any difference to ease the pressures in frtonline general practice'.

He said: 'We need schemes that direct patients away from GP surgeries [or] work to increase capacity by removing non-clinical work.'

The news comes as GP practices are already struggling with extra winter-related workload, having to swap over-65s flu vaccine stocks between practices and pharmacies due to supply issues.

Last year, GPs were allocated just 4% of the total amount of NHS winter resilience funding, with the rest going to secondary care.

Readers' comments (12)

  • So what they are saying is that if GP services are stretched we should just send patients to a&e (in hours), because that is where the extra funding has gone.

    I’ll remember that next time there is a black alert.

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  • We are expendable,underfunded and at the moment becoming increasingly disenfranchised in this health system.The BMA and college impotent and increasingly out of ideas,out of touch and of diminishing influence over us.An estimate of 2-5 years before complete collapse.Now whatever will happen is virtually unstoppable.

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  • Meanwhile doctors in Canada are refusing salary increases due to already inflated incomes:

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  • ObiOne exactly- indemnity fund for OOH is a joke. Send everyone to ED

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    I bet the extra funding has already been used up by the existing debts PFI etc..
    ok start a new tab

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    Northwest Doc
    Send everyone to ED..
    this leads to log waits
    patients call ambulances but refuse to go in
    a+e does unsafe triage to the walk in and ooh
    who then send back or admit
    and everything goes round and round in circles
    hopefully the patient survives the merry go round
    Nothing learnt from Bawa Garwa case
    Doctors will always be scapegoated by the organisation
    Sorry but
    safest thing is to take annual leave at times when risk is highest and support lowest

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  • "safest thing is to take annual leave at times when risk is highest and support lowest"

    Or work in a country like Canada where it's like that everyday...?

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  • Correction: "NOT like that everyday"

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  • Question for my fellow contributors- how many of you actually do OOH work? I wouldn't touch it with anyones bargepole.

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  • AlanAlmond

    IDGAF - I don’t do OOH and more recently don’t do much in hours work either - am relying on savings to get me through. Not what I planned when I started out but it is what it is. Like ‘what now?’ suggests, the safest thing is not to be there during times of maximum risk. Unfortunately these periods increasingly cover even your normal average day.

    So it’s been medical school - junior hospital Dr - GP registrar - salaried GP - locum GP - what now? - exit

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