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GP Forward View should be everyone’s ‘top priority’, says RCGP chair



Making sure that the General Practice Forward View pledges are delivered should be everyone’s top priority, outgoing RCGP chair Dr Maureen Baker has said.

Speaking today at a King’s Fund conference on new models of general practice, Dr Baker said this has been her main job in the past six months, and will also be the top priority of her successor Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, who takes over as RCGP chair next month.

Dr Baker reiterated the college’s endorsement for NHS England’s document, which comes as the document was declared insufficient by the GPC as well as by Pulse readers.

Dr Baker said a survey of RCGP members two months ago showed that 48% ‘do agree GPFV is positive for general practice, so almost half think that this is good news’.

Dr Baker told delegates: ‘We do have our logo on the front cover which means that we believe, in RCGP, that this is the right plan for general practice.

‘Our job now, and I suggest everyone’s job, is to ensure that what’s pledged in the forward view is delivered and that’s been my top priority in the last six months of my chairmanship and I know it’s the top priority of the incoming chair, my successor, Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard.’

At the same conference, Dr Baker said that RCGP is also supportive of the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) that are currently being drawn up across 44 areas of England.

She said: ‘STPs are due to submit their plans on Friday. We do support the approach. We do think the NHS needs to get together at local level to decide how they’re going to best spend their funds for their populations over the next few years.

‘Just to point out to you.The STPs have been recommended that they spend 15-20% of their transformation and sustainability fund, that’s a bit of leeway but at least 15%, that is another funding stream that we will be closely monitoring.’

Last week, Dr Baker warned that practices could be missing out on hundreds of millions of pounds by 2020 if plans being devised across England by NHS managers are ploughing money into trusts’ deficits.

And today she said: ‘We will be using our ambassadors and our members. Once the STP plans are published we will be checking to see: Does this sound right to you? Are you going to get the support you need? Is the funding that’s committed going to be there?

‘And if it’s not, we’ll be straight back to NHS England, to the minister in the department saying, this is what you said, this is what you committed, this is what we’re hearing – it needs to be addressed.’

NB: This article has been corrected to say that 48% of RCGP members said the GPFV was positive for general practice, rather than 38% as previously stated. Pulse apologises for any confusion.