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Eight in 10 CCG leads think new NHS funding should go to general practice

A majority of CCG finance leads thinks general practice should be the top priority for extra NHS funding.

This is the finding of the King’s Fund’s quarterly monitoring report, which includes a survey of finance chiefs at CCGs and hospital trusts.

The multi-choice survey question, posed ahead of the Government’s announcement of a £20bn top-up to NHS funding, saw CCG leads pick their top-three funding priorities as general practice (chosen by 79% of respondents); social care (65% of respondents) and community services (65% of respondents).

Meanwhile, hospital finance leads put social care at the top of their priority list for funding (67%), followed by community (53%) and mental health services (47%).

The report also revealed that nearly two-fifths (39%) of CCG finance leads surveyed expect to overspend their budgets this year. In response, many are considering further rationing of treatments available on the NHS.

Nearly 80% of CCG finance leads said their organisation is considering extending the number of low-value treatments and prescriptions that will no longer be funded, according to the think-tank report.

King’s Fund chief analyst Siva Anandaciva said: ‘Policy-makers have long sought to provide more care in the community, closer to people’s homes, to improve patient care and reduce pressures on hospitals.

‘These attempts have for the most part failed and hospitals remain full to capacity, while underinvestment in community services continues.

‘Our survey suggests that finally delivering this vision should he at the heart of the forthcoming NHS 10 year plan and that additional funding for social care must be a top priority for the forthcoming Spending Review.’