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The waiting game

NHS England formally identifies over 800 GP practices as vulnerable

NHS England has formally identified over 800 GP practices as vulnerable as part of its work to allocate £10m worth of support funding.

According to NHS England’s official data, the situation is worst in the North Midlands where 115 practices - more than one fifth (22%) of the total - have been identified as struggling.

In the London and South Central (15%) and South West (14%) regions, around a sixth have been identified as practices that could use support funds.

The figure tallies with the BMA’s warning earlier this week that one in ten GP practices is financially unviable and is even more alarming than previous estimations from local figures, which suggested some 600 practices could benefit from the fund.

And because the funding on offer comes with strings - each practice accepting support must match this and spend it towards its CCG’s plan for local general practice reform - the GPC warned that the most vulnerable practices may be unable to make use of the support on offer.

The funding will be used to parachute in support teams, aimed at building ‘longer-term resilience rather than deliver short-term quick fixes’. In many regions this would amount to managerial support to negotiate practice mergers and moves to new care models.

GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ’Even if you were to identify practices that might benefit from support, would they be willing to accept that bearing in mind they would have to find 50% of the funding? That has to be recognised as a big constraint in being able to support the right practices.’

Conerns were also raised about the size of the funding available, as if all practices were to receive funding in the North Midlands, the £600,000 of the fund allocated to the region would mean each practice would receive just £5,229 if portioned out equally.

An NHS England spokesperson said: ‘We are aware that some GP practices are feeling the pressure of rising patient demand and we continue to work on a wide range of measures aimed at supporting GPs and tackling workload.

’As part of our efforts to boost primary care, we are investing £10m in struggling practices and we will announce more details soon.’

As part of the Stop Practice Closures campaign, Pulse has revealed that 200,000 patients were displaced when their practice folded last year and, earlier this week, the BMA revealed that a survey of 2,830 practices found that 294 practices (10%) regard themselves as financially unsustainable within the next year.


Readers' comments (11)

  • East number looks very low to me.

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  • 10,000,000 divided by 800 = 12,500

    what will funding be used for?
    is it enough (suppose better than nothing)?
    is it a token gesture or will it have a practical impact?

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  • Lots of issues here:
    - Will these practices be told?
    - Will it be published publically?
    - Will it impact on indemnity costs?
    - How will CQC view this?
    - What will anyone do about it, if anything?
    - What is the mix of GMS/PMS/APMS?
    - What is the mix of rural/semi/urban?
    - How many are coastal?
    - What is the average list size?

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  • In Medway we find out about the neighbouring Practice's closure from the local newspaper. 3 weeks ago it was the Practice at Rochester Healthy Living Centre and this Saturday it was the closure of one of the oldest hospitals in England - St Bart's at Rochester. Closure was announced by CCG the paper says but last week the CCG forgot to mention this.
    Decisions are being made by 3-5 people at the top in collusion with NHSE and GPs who are told ' You are the CCG' actually are lame bystanders and spectators of this shameful circus called reforms.
    Wonder if NHSE and the CCGs would share the names of Practices listed as high risk in their areas - if only to make these Practices aware that they are on the list of Alerts. Won't happen. Welcome to my world in Medway and Kent - the epitome of ills in the NHS - you will find every example of mishap here in this small region.

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  • And not a peep of press coverage. Shocking.

    Meanwhile Facebook finally start paying more tax than my Practice Manager.

    Lunatics in charge of Asylum UK.

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  • A message ...let's fight them and never surrender
    Work for nothing ,but never surrender,
    Patients come first

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  • You cannot make a silk purse out of a sows ear no matter how large the committee, encouragement or expertise

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  • It seems amazing that they plan to spend 600 million on giving hospital staff fitness exercises but only 10 million on saving practices that it identifies as vulnerable.

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  • @ above,

    General practice is to be demolished, not saved. The NHS is dead, long live the PNHS.

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  • Vinci Ho

    All you need is one referendum to turn politicians in government into bonkers(or even zombies breaking out of hell mouth!).
    Only a couple of weeks down the road , the bloodshed and organ spillage are all over the place. The funny hair-styled Mayor spared no time to blend the dismissal of the director-general of British Chambers of Commerce (BCC, not basal cell carcinoma ) as 'scandalous'. Ozzy is so petrified of upsetting his 'leave' camp party fellows that he U-turned(another U turn) on his contentious plan of pension overhaul. And more will come. It is not about what is right or wrong but all down to a internal civil war within the tribe.

    The truth is this democratic ballot carries a far reaching meaning underneath: the Cameron's government to survive or a even more far right one(Johnson/Gove/IDS etc) to replace it.
    Indeed, when you look back to the drama in May last year . Cameron knew extremely well the weaknesses of his position in his party and the only way to have a chance to win the election was to package the party as 'middle to the right' while his far right backbenchers were always ready to overthrow him. EU referendum was a tactic for this re-packaging. Perhaps , Labour lost the campaign for being desperate to move from middle to far left in the dying moments before the general election.
    As I said in the past , history rewrote itself many times during economic downturn when far right ideology tried to creep back into mainstream . The US presidential candidate internal election of the Republican tells the tale. What Cameron had slightly miscalculated was the level of opposition against him inside the party.Middle ground politics does not appear to be the norm for his party.One can argue that this split is only issue specific rather outright mutiny but the political reality is whether Cameron and his mates will be still in power after 23/6. He NEEEDS these 'in' votes.
    Of course , one person watching very closed on this Cameron Vs Johnson match is the Chancellor . He set his target to be the PM the day he declared reaching economic surplus in 2020 but his reputation has been consistently declining . His strategies on the economy have not really worked out and he is asking more austerity in public sector . Being the fifth largest economy in the world , UK relies on service sector for over 70% of its GDP. But Ozzy decided to put all the effort on manufacturing instead and as somebody suggested on this platform before , no economy could starve itself back to positive growth by strict austerity. Small to medium sized business and hence , middle class , was squeezed and disappearing on the horizon . Only big ,corporate monsters are allowed to live with limited cash flow. The stranglehold situation needs to change: may be the risk of more quantitative easing needs to be taken as the inflation and interest rate as well as petrol price are extraordinarily low same time in history. In any case, Ozzy does not want any uncertainty factor like leaving EU to complicate his grand plan. He NEEDS these 'in' votes.
    What is this gonna do with us? Call me crazy but if by any stretch of imagination, we can hold these guys in their jugulars with a message : no medical professional will cast any vote in this referendum unless certain conditions are met, making peace with the junior doctors , sorting out all the contracts and/or getting rid of the SOS. Yes, we should not betray the virtue of a democratic proceeding to determine the future of the country but the whole thing has already been politicised by this bunch of despicable politicians after all.

    I am not planning to be a leader nor being 'brave'. Quite frankly , I lost the meaning of either of that after writing comments on this platform through these years. But if a little girl could point a finger and ridicule the emperor with no clothes ,I just follow her footsteps .....

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