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Government has ‘not agreed’ to extend GP Covid funding, says BMA

Government has ‘not agreed’ to extend GP Covid funding, says BMA

The BMA has received ‘no information’ on whether the £6.6bn Covid funding announced by the Government this week will include any help for GP practices, Pulse has learned.

Health secretary Matt Hancock announced the funding – which covers the first six months of the new financial year – yesterday, saying its usage would include tackling a backlog of elective procedures and enabling safe early discharge.

Meanwhile, GP Covid funding – which had aimed to help GPs ‘remain open and accessible’ while vaccinating the population against Covid – is due to run out at the end of this month, despite GP leaders calling for an ‘urgent’ extension.

Speaking to Pulse on Thursday, Dr BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘We have not received any information on whether any of this funding will be made available to general practice. 

‘We have called for a continuation of the funding provided to support practices during the ongoing pandemic and vaccination programme but currently nor the government nor NHSEI have agreed to this.’

Pulse approached the Department of Health and Social Care for comment but did not receive a response.

The BMA and RCGP have argued that funds ‘must be extended and further funding be provided to enable general practice to continue to deliver an effective and rapid vaccination programme, alongside continuing to deliver routine services to patients in need’.

GP practices are expected to restart enhanced services and QOF reporting from 1 April, and GP-led vaccination sites have been given a deadline of today (Friday 19 March) to opt in or out of taking part in phase two of the vaccination rollout. In order to do so, they must commit to fulfil all of their regular contractual duties.