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GP access improvement plans to be finalised this week, says NHS England

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NHS England has said that regional plans to improve access to GP practices will be agreed ‘by the end of this week’.

The plans will include the list of the 20% of worst-performing local practices identified by ICSs as well as details of actions to improve access in these practices and across all practices in the area, it added.

NHS England slides presented at its latest GP webinar, held last night, said: ‘Regions and systems have developed and continue to iterate plans. They are currently being reviewed nationally and will be agreed by the end of this week.’

The plans cover ‘the identification of up to 20% of GP practices within the system that require enhanced support to improve access for their patients and the actions that will be taken to support them’ as well as ‘actions relating to improving access and patient experience across all practices in the ICS’, they added.

‘National [and] regional teams will continue to work with local systems to support delivery of these plans.’ they said.

The slides also reiterated that NHS England will not publish ‘league tables’ or the names of practices identified for access improvement measures by ICSs.

They said: ‘We cannot identify the practices that need additional support without data and intelligence. We will not be publishing league tables or names of practices that ICSs and regions have agreed need additional support to improve access for patients.  

‘We understand the limitations of national data and the need to use a range of data sources. We need to rely on local information and perspectives to develop plans and allocate funding.’

It comes after Pulse revealed this month that the data NHS England has given ICSs to help them identify the 20% of local GP practices to face action on access is based on a one-month ‘snapshot’.

Meanwhile, the slides said that the winter access funding linked to NHS England’s GP access plan is ‘being newly allocated to primary care’.

‘This is not existing CCG resource which may previously have been deployed to support over winter locally’, they added.

And they said that NHS England has set up a ‘task and finish group’ to work on the promised campaign against abuse towards NHS staff that will be launched alongside a ‘wider toolkit of support to help practices and other primary care providers manage the risk of violence, abuse and microaggressions in primary care and get their staff the support they need’. 

The group will be ‘undertaking further engagement work with patients, practices, networks and other primary care representatives to refine the approach over the coming weeks’, the slides added.

Under NHS England’s GP access plan, ICSs were told to submit a list of the 20% of practices in their area that are performing worst in terms of access by 28 October to face ‘immediate’ action.

And NHS England has said that final funding allocations for the winter access fund would be confirmed to ICSs from this week.

Meanwhile, GPs were given until 14 November to vote in the BMA’s indicative ballot to determine whether or not they want to take industrial action against the Government’s access plan. Results of the ballot are due to be announced on 18 November.


David Jarvis 17 November, 2021 6:31 pm

I hope they realise that any plan will be scuppered if they expect me to work longer and harder. No money will change that.

Slobber Dog 17 November, 2021 6:55 pm

Can’t wait.
Change the taxation system so I keep more of what I earn and I’ll gladly help out.

Doc Getmeout 17 November, 2021 6:56 pm

Also with Mr SJ the NHS using such tactics to bash and degrade the GP with further abuse within the system that is bound to energise the patients to further abuse GPs as ‘poor service’ etc.

John Evans 17 November, 2021 7:31 pm

The govt and NHS leaders have been moronic.

Stress curve is well established.
GP numbers below comparable nations and number of contacts per year are certainly worse in a free at the point of abuse system.

Hence are any ‘performance deficits’ due to being at the boredom end of the spectrum or sitting beyond strain?

The tools that they will apply to enhance performance will simply push people further in to strain and for longer periods. The drop off in performance may be disguised by quantitative improvement for access (possibly not) though will be offset by reduced quality, increased referral to secondary care or even decompensation of clinicians.

The truth will be unacceptable to leadership.
The whole thing will be a waste of time and money with no chance of addressing underlying issues.

Stephen Savory 17 November, 2021 9:17 pm

Locally last week we heard that the CCG had approached practices offering to pay for bundles of remote consulting capacity sourced from private providers such as Livi and Push Doctor. At least 2 out of 4 CCG GP Clinical Leads weren’t consulted. Practices, PCNs and GP Federations do not appear to have been invited to tender. Mixed messaging from CCG officers as to whether this was under the guise of the Access Plan or some ‘estates capacity’ badging.

A remote provider ain’t going to be familiar with local care pathways, or to consume their own clinical smoke. If successful they are going to take GP resources – human and financial – away from starved NHS providers and to the private sector.

Doc Getmeout 17 November, 2021 10:36 pm

Access needs to be reframed to 15 minutes as mandatory for patient gets more complex and have more demands. We need to see less and for a little bit long.
Our leaders should work for a mandatory 15 minute appt.
NHS and SJ are you listening less ‘access’ due to longer appts.( not more access)

paul cundy 18 November, 2021 12:09 am

Dear All,
As we see as many of our patients who want to be seen F2F there is no need for your King’s shillings. Why not let us use the money as we see fit, you already do for >100% of these funds.
Paul C

Patrufini Duffy 18 November, 2021 5:29 pm

Magic Javid has disappeared. Convenient that – what’s he doing? Sorting out some quiet backhanders with Deutsche and JP Morgan before the new Bill comes in.

Nobbies Piles 18 November, 2021 10:56 pm

Sounds nice having extra back-up staff to take work off us, but that means we keep an higher concentration of more challenging stressful stuff…… ? Sustainable