This site is intended for health professionals only


NHS England sets out details of GP practice-level ‘access improvement programme’


access programme


NHS England has revealed further details of the ‘intensive’ access support programme that will be offered to the worst-performing GP practices.

As part of the GP access plan announced earlier this month, ICSs must identify and submit a list of the 20% of practices in their area with the lowest levels of face-to-face appointments by 28 October to face ‘immediate’ action.

The plan said that the 200 GP practices with the worst access will face an ‘intensive and accelerated’ programme to ‘help them reduce waits’ and ‘increase the number of appointments offered each day’, including face-to-face appointments.

New NHS England guidance sent to systems this week and seen by Pulse said that support from the intensive ‘access improvement programme’ (AIP) will last approximately 24 weeks.

It said that the AIP would create a ‘practice-level improvement plan’ with ‘evidence-based interventions’ to help practices achieve ‘at least’ pre-pandemic activity levels, excluding Covid vaccinations.

The plan will also aim to increase overall appointment levels, as well as the proportion of face-to-face appointments delivered by GPs, it added.

It said: ‘Development advisers will bring to bear the combined expertise and resources of NHSE/I’s primary care improvement, primary care workforce, digital-first primary care and NHSX teams in assembling tailored practice support to accelerate improvement’.

These ‘development advisers’ will have a ‘rapid high-level discussion’ with the primary care network (PCN) clinical director and a nominated practice lead ‘where asked’ to ‘confirm practice suitability and readiness’ for the intensive programme, it added.

They will set out ‘expectations for practice participation including time inputs and reporting requirements’ and this will ‘require rapid turnaround to meet the national timescales’, the guidance said.

Practices will need to confirm their ‘commitment’ to the programme via a ‘simple agreement’ document, it added.

The guidance also confirmed that practices identified for the AIP may also be able to access support via the £250 winter access fund.

However, it said that some of the worst-performing practices needing access ‘support’ will not be eligible for the GP winter access funding.

READERS' COMMENTS [1]

Patrufini Duffy 29 October, 2021 8:08 pm

I am yet to see in BOLD from NHSE how exactly they are extracting this “data” and on what codes, trackers or clicks that they are basing their cookoo-land insult on doctors. It is all a bit secretive big Brother – more like messed up kid. The universe is doing it’s rounds, be careful those that incite professional harassment, work slavery and perverse manipulation. Although you escape being named, and instead hide behind the NHSE logos, this is backfiring, but you’ll see it too late, like everything else shockingly delayed in this country. Immensely naïve. But understandable.