Exclusive Blueprints for the future of the NHS are investing more than £1bn into primary care, a Pulse analysis has revealed.
The analysis of the ‘sustainability and transformation plans’ has found that 14 have proposed investment to support the GP Forward View, totalling £394m; extrapolated across the whole of England, this would come to almost £1.2bn.
The Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and Sussex and East Surrey plans identify the greatest investment in the Forward View, at £71.5m and £51m respectively, with the former specifying delivery of seven-day access, extending the primary care team and offering more specialist care in primary care settings.
Other than this, there is little detail about how the investment will be used. This information is expected to be part of the primary care strategies CCGs had to submit to NHS England by 23 December.
At the same time, the 44 STP ‘footprints’ have to identify £22bn in savings from the health and social care budget between them.
At the start of 2016 NHS England tasked regional teams, CCGs, trusts and councils to produce plans for delivery of the NHS Five Year Forward View, and said they had to make provisions to invest more in primary care.
Two councils in England have rejected their local STP because of its failure to pledge sufficient investment in general practice.
Shropshire Council and Telford and Wrekin Council in the West Midlands said the Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin STP, which predicts a deficit of £131.4m by 2021, should put ‘significantly more resources’ into primary care. Instead, it sets out plans to reconfigure hospital services.
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What are the sustainability and transformation plans proposing?
Pulse’s scrutiny of the 44 STPs have previously revealed how
- GPs in one region of England may have to shoulder an increasing burden of patient care following the merger of two acute care trusts in Nottinghamshire;
- Every practice in Cornwall could be moved onto the new ‘voluntary’ GP contract by 2020/21, with practices divided into six multispecialty community provider (MCP) clusters;
- In Dorset, a plan for the sustainability of the local NHS suggests that a current 98 GP practices, operating at 135 sites, ‘will over-stretch’ local ‘workforce and finances’. It suggests that a ‘reduction in the number of sites’ would lead to a better provision of services ‘for more hours of the day and days of the week’;
- In Hampshire and Isle of Wight, a reduction in GP workload by almost a third is sought, while also significantly reducing patients’ face-to-face contact with primary care.
- In North London, practices with list sizes under 10,000 patients could face closure amid moves to create primary care ’hubs’ with lists of 30,000.
- In East Devon, more than half of community hospital beds could be closed.
- NHS managers are expecting GPs in one area of England to slash their prescribing costs by a ‘very ambitious’ 15%, while another is targeting 7%.