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Health charity offers £250k grants for GP continuity-of-care initiatives

A healthcare charity is offering GP practices a quarter of a million pounds to run programmes improving patient continuity of care.

The Health Foundation said ‘three to four large-scale GP practices and federations’ would be awarded £250,000 each to carry out a programme running up to 24 months.

The foundation said the scheme was inspired by research carried out last year, which found that patients with ambulatory care sensitive conditions, for example asthma, who see the same GP a greater proportion of the time, have fewer unplanned hospital admissions.

Inviting applications for the scheme by the 24 August, the Health Foundation said: ‘We understand the pressures faced by professionals working in general practice and want to know whether an increased focus on continuity of care can help bring benefits to both staff and patients.’

It said it defined continuity as:

  • Relational continuity – the same professional seeing the same patient over a period of time.
  • Informational continuity – professionals having access to accurate, up to date, patient records. 
  • Managerial continuity – a system which enables timely and efficient handovers of care between individual clinicians, teams and organisations.

The programme has been developed with the advice of the RCGP and is fully funded by the Health Foundation.

RCGP vice chair of external affairs Professor Martin Marshall: ‘Continuity of care is a critical element of general practice, in particular continuity of the personal relationship between patients and their general practitioner.

‘The RCGP strongly supports this programme which will give us new insights into how best to deliver continuity in an increasingly challenging environment.’