NHS England has released details of how GP practices can get a share of £44m to help them transition to the ‘Modern General Practice Access Model’ as set out in the Recovery plan.
Surgeries will be able to submit requests to their ICB via a number of ways (see box below).
The transition cover and transformation support funding, equating to around an average of £13,500 per practice, is being made available across 2023/24 and 2024/25 to those that commit to changing the way they work.
The Modern General Practice Access model comprises a move to digital telephony, making online requests simpler and offering faster navigation, assessment and responses for patients. This has been developed to meet the Government’s ambitions of ‘tackling the 8am rush and making it easier and quicker for patients to get the help they need’.
NHS England has made the funding available so practices can pay for any ‘additional capacity’ needed to clear backlogs of work and appointment books before switching to the new model. It said surgeries that have already been through the process have shared the importance of being able to start from ‘a clean slate’.
Examples of additional capacity include paying for sessional GPs, support from peers or extra sessions from current clinical or non-clinical practice staff, explained NHS England.
It said that the new money is to be used when the practice is approaching the point of ‘going live’ with the new model.
There is no requirement for practices to participate in the national General Practice Improvement Programme, (GPIP) which was announced in the Recovery plan, to secure a share of the transition and transformation support funding.
However, NHS England said that GPIP will support practices to make the changes and move towards a Modern General Practice Access Model more easily.
The guidance said that ICBs are required to assure themselves that the practice is moving to a modern general practice access model and ‘that the costs to be reimbursed per practice are reasonable’.
And it said that, as funding is available across two years, ICBs will need to manage the demand for funding from practices across that period. ICBs have been asked to ‘the needs and readiness’ of practices and plan for the phased use of the funding across 2023/24 and 2024/25.
Payments to practices are to be made through PCSE using the relevant programme pay code.
Accessing a share of the £44m funding pot
To secure money, practices need to contact their ICB to confirm that they are planning to implement the Modern General Practice Access Model. They will also need to indicate when they will need the funding.
They can do this using any of the following documents or plans, by the relevant deadline set by NHS England. These are:
- Requests to the ICB for various support with the Recovery plan. (For more information see commitment 8, page 3 of the Recovery plan checklist drawn up by NHS England). The deadline for this was 15 July.
- Their PCN documentation used to establish a baseline position for the investment and impact fund (IIF) Capacity and Access Improvement Payment.
- Via the PCN or practice ‘access improvement plan’ that had been requested as part of the PCN DES IIF Capacity and Access improvement payment guidance 2023/24. This needs to be submitted to the ICB by 31 July.
- Plans developed by the practice that are relevant to the achievement of QOF Quality Improvement indicators.
- Alternatively, practices can also opt to submit a separate detailed request to their ICB in which they set out the support they have identified as necessary to transition to the new model.
For more information, see this NHS England checklist of actions and summary of support available to practices for achieving the Recovery plan.
A version of this article was first published by Pulse’s sister title Management in Practice