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Gold, incentives and meh

PM's seven-day access drive extended to 1,400 more GP practices

The Prime Minister’s drive to extend GP access has been extended today, with a further 37 bids approved, covering more than 1,400 practices.

The practices will be given a share of an additional £100m to extend access to GP practices at evenings and weekends.

One bid from 87 Sheffield GP practices has been granted funding worth £9m, and will see seven-day GP access in five sites across the city.

Another successful bid from Tower Hamlets will see four GP ‘hubs’ across the borough will provide 8am-8pm access seven days a week and pharmacist training to offer more prescriptions.

Elsewhere, a scheme in Manchester – where seven-day opening was pioneered – has been given funding worth £5.4m, to cover 92 practices.

This is the second tranche of funding from the Prime Minister’s ‘Challenge Fund’, which is aimed to improve access to GPs on evenings and weekends and improve the use of technology, and follows the first tranche that invested £50m.

The bids will be for funding over 12 months, and successful bids have come in from all over the country.

The most recent investment, announced during the Conservative Party conference in September, came after Pulse revealed that many of first group of pilots had yet to begin in September last year, despite funding being due to end in April.

As a result, NHS England said in February it will extend funding for the pilots to allow ‘fuller analysis’, after admitting that there was insufficient data to measure the success of the scheme ten months into the year-long pilots.

The additional funding comes as NHS managers in London have begun talks to create routine GP Saturday opening in London.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the GPC, said: ‘It’s vital that this new money is used in ways that meet the needs of patients, and to support practices to ease the pressures on GPs struggling to cope with escalating patient demand. There was evidence from the first wave of pilots that despite low demand for appointments, NHS resources were being spent on keeping some practices open on Sundays.

‘Going forward, we must allow pilot sites to implement their funding allocation flexibly and make necessary changes to plans or services to ensure appropriate use of the resources provided.’

He added that the BMA ‘remains concerned’ that the funding is for only a year, and practices will not have resources to continue any successful initiatives.

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Readers' comments (28)

  • Ivan Benett | Salaried GP | 30 March 2015 2:40pm
    People do want to work at weekends, especially if it means they can be flexible. It's a fair wage for fair work, and no one can force you to do anything...

    Again, you're not listening. Fair wage for which they take away post-election? and there already is OOH at wkends for pple who want to work then. That's right, they can't force everyone to sign up to this crap, which is why people are leaving. Only the ones who can't help it stay, or for which its even better here than where they're from, and even I wouldn't call them stupid. Gd luck!

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  • No not copperfield but someone who's munching through a superfilled sh1t sandwich with slices of nimble on the outside- (for those old enough to remember nimble- it's a diet bread!)

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  • The thing that people are missing is that one can go on providing more and more access, but this only lowers the threshold to consult. I have been doing same day telephone consultations for a long time. This is very helpful for patients, however I have noticed I have become busier and busier with people frequently contacting me several times on the same day with variations of the same self-limiting clinical problem.

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  • GP Partner 9.45.
    The most important statement you have made is dependency on health care. Our public has a culture of " go to the doctor" I cannot express enough the number of patients we see in walk in centres and OOH for vomiting, cough and cold, fever, urti.
    In a day I can repeat the same dialogue with my eyes and mind switched off.. Every vomit needs to be seen by a doctor,

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  • GP Partner 7.21,
    It is provider induced demand you are facing. Limit telephone consults to 2hrs and learn to say no. Our public does not think, because we are doing the free thinking for them.
    Many countries with universal health care have boundaries drawn, but NHS is free at the point of delivery of everything including thinking for our public.

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  • Staffing these clinics is the big issue. The rates are going to need to rise across the board.

    I hear that the current Manchester service has caused some migration from the OOH provider who pay significantly less for higher risk work. This will cause bigger problems as it is rolled out.

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  • £5.4m, to cover 92 practices
    it means £1200 per week per surgery, its not possible to open surgery 8am to 8pm with drs, in 1000 for 2 days.

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  • why was I born,
    my heart is torn.
    soul full of thorns,
    painful politician horns.
    hurts me every day,
    even after I pray.
    my dad was right,
    after knowing I am bright.
    He pushed me to become a dr.
    I will still be a proctor.
    took me 3 hours to write these few lines, then i thought click the submit button. everybody knows how busy we are :)

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