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One third of CCGs fail to allocate £5 per head funding promised for vulnerable patients

Exclusive One third of CCGs have not yet allocated funding worth £5 per patient that was promised to support GP practices to care for vulnerable and elderly patients this year, a Pulse investigation has discovered.

A Pulse Freedom of Information Act request answered by 165 CCGs found that only 27% of CCGs have given practices the full £5 per head of funding, which had been intended to support practice plans to improve the care of vulnerable patients as part of the Government’s ‘named GP’ scheme and avoiding unplanned admissions DES.

In total, £97 million has been given to support GPs - extrapolated to £124 million across England - which is less than half the £250 million that health secretary Jeremy Hunt has repeatedly claimed has been directly invested in general practice as part of the scheme.

GP leaders said that the funding had been ‘hijacked’ for other purposes.

NHS England announced last year that CCGs would be told to identify funding worth £5 per head of population to support practices develop plans to improve the care of elderly and vulnerable patients.

Although NHS England guidance to CCGs did not stipulate the money had to be spent directly on GPs, the Government’s Transforming Primary Care policy document said: ‘CCGs will provide £250 million to commission additional services which will support GPs to improve quality care for older people and those with complex needs’.

Last month, Mr Hunt last month told Pulse that GPs were ‘central’ to his vision of the NHS, and said a shift of resources from the acute sector to primary care was already happening.

He said: ‘NHS England and I are in complete agreement that this has to happen. We are serious about this. There was the extra £250m that we put into the GP contract last year for improving care for the most vulnerable older people.’

However, the Pulse investigation revealed that GPs on the ground were not receiving this funding.

It found that, six months into the financial year:

Dr Steve Kell, chair of NHS Bassetlaw CCG and co-chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners, said that CCGs had been given a difficult task in identifying this funding at short notice without being given any additional central resource.

He said: ‘It isn’t as straightforward as doing this in one year. I think that is where CCGs struggle, without some transformation funding.’

A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘CCGs are not restricted to using this funding on general practice – in some areas, CCGs have used it to employ extra district nurses for local practices.’

But Dr Mark Sanford-Wood, interim secretary of Devon LMC said about the lack of funding: ‘Overall, the feeling on the ground is one of disappointment.’

Dr Peter Swinyard, chair of the Family Doctor Association, said: ‘I think the money should perhaps have been more carefully badged to show it actually should be paid to practices, perhaps in return for something or other. But mostly it has been hijacked for other purposes.’

Readers' comments (9)

  • look ccgs are not interested in looking after grassroot GPs.

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  • John Glasspool

    As I said elsewhere, if GPs in a CCG actually CARE about this, then they should call a special meeting and pass a vote of no confidence in the board and chief exec. It really IS that simple. Even the average GP can do this with very little effort, so long as he/she has a core of support. If not-well, one has to live with it.

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  • Our CCG only just decided what to do, with only 6/12 left to utilize the additional funding. They want to give to OOH what is not spent. Many surgeries unhappy.

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  • PM above is little wrong - this money isn't "additional" funding as NHSE has decided to include this as part of CCG funds and we are told by CCG they have not received any additional funds esp for this. Thus CCGs are having to squeeze money out somehow to cater for this. Not surprising why they are reluctant to give this money over!

    Over throwing CCG isn't that easy John - I represent my practice in federation, and at the meeting many of the practice leads I see are connected to CCG in one way or the other. I can't see any of them standing up for the glassroots as they are in a comfy near retirement age with political aspirations.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Depending where you are , there is a chance you will only get a fraction of this £5 per patient . And you are required to do monthly review on housebound elderly and those in nursing hones , for instance. That is certainly the deal I received.
    Of course , you will have to spread out your manpower evenly thinner as we are also requested to provide more appointments for winter pressure . So we just decided to employ locums to do several extra sessions every week but they are expensive!
    Then the party propaganda media can twist this and say again GPs are paid extra to look after patients in nursing home or otherwise , will be left to die!

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  • In GP meetings, you can actually see the discontent and frustration on faces but there is an innate fear of speaking up for fear of reprisal. And so, every motion is passed. On an optimistic note, recently, this trend seems to be changing and meetings are becoming 'livelier'. However, does this mean that GPs will have the guts to organize a vote of no- confidence ( John Glasspool's note above)- I doubt it.

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  • In East and North Herts CCG we have been asked to "earn" the funding by undertaking health checks on the over 75s(not those in care homes). We have been given 25% up front and will be paid £50 per check undertaken. If we fail to hit 51% of our over 75s then the upfront monies may be clawed back.
    The scheme started in Sept and we have got until 31/8/15 to do the checks.

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  • Titanic --- anagram for General Practitioners -- well you have to make it fit and if you can not it's the GPs fault
    Doesn't matter what GP or common sense shows
    Ok ok we can have a few more letters to make up the short fall ...so not to worry .....but wait ..it may change depending on the mood of someone somewhere somehow ....but above all it's the GPs fault .....this is paramount ...and while there every problem in the world from baldness to bigotry racism sexism feminism masculinism animalism drug taking criminality lieing sleeping too much obesity tiredness laziness rudeness smelly ness bad breath dandruff cold winters hot summers height weight size eyes cats fur dogs tail length while at it ....the fact we are probably responsible for all the mysteries from JFK assassination to why we owe 1.7 billion to the EU ..... and that is just the tip of the iceberg

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  • remedy...vote of no confidence in the ccg,or resignation all gp board members..might be a good idea anyway to bring this evil government down.
    unacceptable to have not disbursed this money..let them get away with this malfesance at our peril.
    obviously learning from nhse how to misallocate and waste public money for idelogically blinded reasons without mandate or accountability

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