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DH urged to increase GPs in deprived areas

By Gareth Iacobucci

The Department of Health should urgently identify measures to drive up the numbers of GPs in deprived areas, a committee of MPs has recommended.

The Public Accounts Committee said the Department had ‘missed an opportunity’ to use the new GMS contract to ensure more GPs work in deprived areas, and said it had ‘not focused its attention sufficiently’ on implementing key interventions to drive change.

It urged the DH to identify measures ‘as a matter of urgency’ including using ‘direct financial incentives to encourage GPs into areas of greatest health need’.

The committee also advised the DH to explicitly link contract payments to GPs’ success in treating the neediest patients, to ensure GPs focus their attention sufficiently on the more deprived people registered with their practices.

It says: ‘The Department and the Commissioning Board should use the GP contract to link payments explicitly to GPs’ success in improving the health of the neediest people in their practices and to encourage up-take of good practice preventative treatments for those with the greatest health needs.’

DH urged to increase GPs in deprived areas