Bureaucracy over accessing small pots of funding from the GP Forward View has led to ‘very little actually being delivered’ from the five-year plan, the chair of the BMA’s GP committee has said.
Dr Richard Vautrey said it is ‘very clear’ that GPs are not yet benefitting from the funding outlined in the GP Forward View, which he said is something the GPC has ‘repeatedly been concerned about over the last year’.
He told Pulse at the England LMCs conference on Friday that NHS England’s five-year plan is ‘very complex’.
He said: ‘There are far too many schemes and too many small pots of non-recurrent money that is leading to lots of frustration, lots of bureaucracy, lots of hard work, but very little actually being delivered.’
Dr Vautrey added that recurrent funding is a necessity ‘because without recurrent funding, we can’t make expanded workforce sustainable’.
His comments follow a vote in favour of GPC England negotiating ‘improvements in the GP Forward View to ensure that money reaches practices directly without additional bureaucracy or additional workload requirements’.
Following the vote by LMC leaders, Dr Vautrey said the GPC plans to convince NHS England ‘that it’s in their interests to provide the recurrent resources because without that we won’t have a sustainable general practice’.
Dr Vautrey also commented that more funding is needed to move forward with online consultations after LMC leaders voted in favour of a motion to avoid online consultations ‘as it will add to an already unmanageable GP workload’.
He said: ‘We also need to recognise that without the necessary extra funding and capacity that these just add extra burden to GPs who are already struggling to maintain the services that they have to at the moment.’
What is promised in the GP Forward View
NHS England’s GP Forward View sets out an array of promises for general practice through to 2020/21, including targets to increase GP funding and workforce numbers.
However, Pulse has found that the target to recruit 5,000 GPs has been watered down by plans to recruit the majority of new GPs from abroad, despite NHS England giving local GP leaders targets for recruitment in their area.
NHS England also promised a £2.4bn funding increase by 2020/21, which Simon Stevens has said is £80m ahead of schedule.
The GP Forward View also promised 5,000 staff will be added to the primary care workforce, claiming that nearly 3,000 had already been recruited.
But director of primary care at NHS England Dr Arvind Madan has said that the ‘jury’s still out’ on whether the GP Forward View is working.