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GPs will get nothing from NHS winter funding

health secretary

Health secretary Matt Hancock announced hundreds of millions of winter funding for the NHS and social care today but general practice will receive none of the funding, Pulse has learned.

Funding included £150m to ‘expand’ A&E departments and £540m towards Covid infection control in care homes.

At the same time, Mr Hancock announced plans to roll out ‘NHS 111 First’ to all A&Es by December, which will see call handlers booking patients in for GP appointments instead if this is more appropriate.

But NHS England told Pulse no additional funding was earmarked for this as it was not a new service, with practices already having to set aside slots for NHS 111 direct bookings.

BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘While extra funding for A&E departments is welcome, there is a disappointing lack of mention for primary and mental health care, which will be just as much at the forefront of the battle this winter. 

‘Increasing NHS 111 capacity, while alleviating some of the pressure on emergency care, will undoubtedly divert some of the demand to primary care and other services. Yet, the Government has failed to recognise this and must provide comparable additional resources to address it, not least as practices are already overwhelmed with rapidly rising workloads.’

Dr Nagpaul also complained that the ‘NHS 111 pilot scheme has been extended without any update on the results of the initial pilot, or any consultation on the results’.

He said: ‘We would like these schemes to be a success, but without more transparency and more clinician-led input, it is questionable how successful they can be. 

‘We are concerned this could be a waste of precious resources if not carefully implemented. The extension of the scheme should also be accompanied by clear messaging for the public so they know exactly how they should interact with the new system.’

Labour’s shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth asked the health secretary during today’s House of Commons debate: ‘If this leads to greater demands on primary care, will GPs be given extra resources as a consequence?’

However Mr Hancock did not directly address the question in his response.


Anonymous 17 September, 2020 5:47 pm

Matt thinks that general practice is not only free at the point of delivery it is also free at the point of supply

Anonymous 17 September, 2020 5:48 pm

No great surprise here. Having bundled 111 direct access booking in the new contract, of course they don’t want to pay again.

Contractually, however, I’d remind everyone that no contracts to my knowledge – GMS, PMS, nor APMS – have a 1 or 2-hour booking window. So if 111 want to book a patient in with that disposition, that is non-contractual work which your CCG needs to fund…

Anonymous 17 September, 2020 7:37 pm


No extra funding?

No extra workload.

Anonymous 18 September, 2020 5:36 am

When the virus comes knocking on their door and the hospitals are on their knees there will be no extra work provided by this GP,even if they staff money at it to save their political skins.Goodwill now zero Matt the app and Simple Simon with their puppet NK.

Anonymous 18 September, 2020 10:49 am

If successive governments hadn’t spent the last 2 decades forcing General Practice to do more work for less funding each year, then we would have been in a position to sort out the COVID testing system……..look how effective the alternative is being right now.

PCNs are diverting system capacity away from GP ‘on the day’ and seasonal work. There aren’t enough GPs, nurses, pharmacists etc to recruit even if recurring funding is made available.

The one hope is ‘overtime’ capacity being made available to meet winter pressures, but that requires ‘goodwill’ as much as anything……….but there’s none of that on offer from either primary care nor the DoH it would seem, who have fallen into the age-old trap of trying to fill the gapping hospital holes with money whilst ignoring the opportunity to get 300%+ return on investment in Primary Care. Is it not better to stop people needing hopsitals in the first place?

This is going to get ugly, messy and people will die. Lots of people WILL die and it will be predicable and largely preventable (by competent a administration, ergo we are f****d).

Expect the blame to placed on GPs though, starting with nasty briefing to useful idiots like Allison Pearson at the Telegraph.

Anonymous 18 September, 2020 2:07 pm

Just stop accepting work. Refer more and stay sane.

Simon Gilbert 18 September, 2020 5:15 pm

Best to send patients to AE if that’s where the funding and bail outs go.

Finola ONeill 22 September, 2020 11:30 am

I’m chasing this up with NHS England and Parliament. I have a google doc if anyone wishes to sign it. If you can put name, role and rough area. cheers.