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GP premises investment 'next year', NHS chief promises

Exclusive NHS England will invest in GP practice premises next year after a prolonged freeze, its chief executive has promised in an exclusive interview with Pulse.

Simon Stevens said GPs need ‘support for modern infrastructure’ but admitted that ‘it will take a number of years’ to get to where premises needed to be.

The comments come after NHS England put a freeze on GP premises investment earlier this year, while reviewing its overall strategy for general practice provision and how premises would fit in.

GP leaders said that funding was required now, but said that a planned release of funding would be ‘excellent news’.

Now that NHS England has published its Five Year Forward View, including plans for larger multi-specialty GP practices to provide a wider range of services, Mr Stevens has signalled that he is ready to prioritise GP premises development.

Mr Stevens said: ‘In 2015/16 I want us to begin to make more progress on premises… We need support for modern infrastructure.’

He added: ‘I’ve talked to the GPC and the RCGP about this and I know that even if GPs were funded for more services there are physical constraints because there is not an extra room in the surgery to do it.’

Asked how GPs would be supported to remedy this, Mr Stevens said it would be via financial investment, which NHS England would prioritise.

However he admitted that he did not know what level of funding GPs could expect as this depended on overall investment from the Government.

He said: ‘Investment if we can. It depends on what the overall level of resources turns out to be… I don’t know exactly what the resources will be for next year. It’s dependent on the Government. But we do have some discretion and we’d like to use it in that direction.’

He added: ‘Nobody can wave a magic wand. It will take a number of years to invest in general practice infrastructure to get the kind of modern services that people want. But we’re on to it.’

Dr Brian Balmer, lead GPC negotiator on premises, said: ‘If they have identified the money then that is great news. But why not make it November 2014 - if you start planning now you are not going to build much in the next few months anyway. If they have identified the money I think they should make a big song and dance about it and I will be very happy to applaud them all the way, and signal to practices and area teams to get rowing on whatever plans they have.’

‘So if this is going to be a planned release of funding, well that is excellent news.’

The GPC has yet to begin talks with the Government about premises funding in light of being promised this as an add-on to next year’s concluded contract negotiation.

NHS England has previously said that CCGs will be expected to invest in GP premises via co-commissioning, using money reallocated from PMS practice funding.

A Pulse investigation recently revealed that NHS England invested only £14.2m on GP premises development last year across all 25 area teams.

 

Readers' comments (10)

  • throw a few coins so that we are forced to sign up to 12/7 working?

    http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/your-practice/practice-topics/premises/gps-should-be-offered-1bn-to-improve-premises-and-open-8-til-8-says-nhs-england-backed-report/20008188.article#.VHSckjSsUXM

    When you make a deal with the devil, even one as incompetent and patronising as NHSE, be prepared to pay for it back.

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  • beware of liars

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  • I smell Darzi centres again whilst the rest of us struggle to work from over crowded premises that the CQC snarl at.

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  • John Glasspool

    3.54- you are dead right. Nice new centres for Gps who want to be salaried automota.

    For the rest- the usual "jam tomorrow".

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  • Yeah I'm investing in my new property abroad now I've left that dump!! The "tuppence and shilling " they would have thrown at me had I stayed wouldn't have paid for a new doormat!!!

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  • Guaranteed nothing will come without 7 day working attached to it, thats 8-8 (or more) 7 days a week, 365 including all bank holiday, and especially over Christmas. Not worth it guys, just stay in the pits you are in and say "we're fine where we are, can't move and will continue to provide current level of service". until the contract forces us to work 7 days a week....with the mass collapse of GP land as we know it.

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  • Well there is a shortage of GP`s but no shortage of narcissistic management "consultants".

    Most of us will be doing what we wanted to do in our life i.e help patients while these types will come and go.
    All it needs is scandal like Mid- Staffs and there are plenty of that waiting to happen.
    His predecessor was called as "man with no shame" by the press.
    Wonder what legacy he will leave behind.
    and yeah -"Jam tommorow"

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  • "Asked how GPs would be supported to remedy this, Mr Stevens said it would be via financial investment, which NHS England would prioritise.

    However he admitted that he did not know what level of funding GPs could expect as this depended on overall investment from the Government."
    So in other words, after Trusts in financial trouble have been rescued, there is unlikely to be any funding left for GPs - or GP premises!
    What will GPC be asked to agree to in return for a vague expression of good intent - and only if the NHS's financial settlement provides any spare cash?

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  • Next year. Funny about that, what else can be happening next year?

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  • '14.2 million spent on GP premises'- but probably 30 million spent in perks for those adminstering the funds....welcome to the quixotic world of the Chancellor.

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