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Prime Minister calls crisis meeting at Nr 10 to avert winter crisis

Prime Minister calls crisis meeting at Nr 10 to avert winter crisis

The Prime Minister has called a crisis meeting at Number 10 today to discuss ways to mitigate winter pressures on the NHS.

Rishi Sunak and health secretary Steve Barclay will meet with clinical leaders to discuss how to ‘improve performance and drive forward planning to ease pressures on the NHS this winter’ focusing on ‘ensuring those who most need help and support will get the care they need’.

The meeting will be attended by NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard, national medical director, Stephen Powis, national clinical director for urgent and emergency care, Julian Redhead and chief nursing officer, Ruth May.

Chairs of the RCGP, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health will also attend, as will representatives of community health services in England.

The BMA was not invited to attend the meeting despite ongoing strikes by junior doctors and hospital consultants.

Mr Sunak said: ‘This year we started planning for winter earlier than before. We invested in more beds, ambulances and discharge lounges through our Urgent and Emergency Care Recovery Plan, and we’re freeing up 15 million GP appointments through our Primary Care Recovery Plan.

‘To drive forward that progress, today we’re bringing together the best minds in healthcare who all have one shared aim – protecting patients and making sure they get the care they need this winter.’

Mr Barclay said: ‘Winter is always an extremely busy period and we’re working across the NHS to make services more resilient, ensuring those who most need help and support will get the care they need.

‘I’m working closely with NHS and social care leaders to provide additional hospital capacity, protect emergency care and harness the full potential of technology to deliver the best possible service and intensify our efforts to tackle waiting lists.’

Winter plan measures, set out in July will ‘boost capacity and resilience’, according to NHS England – although they include no additional funding for general practice.

The funding announced as part of the plan included:

  • £1b of dedicated funding to support capacity in urgent and emergency services, building on the £500m used last winter.
  • £250m worth of capital investment to deliver additional capacity.
  • £200m for ambulance services to increase the number of ambulance hours on the road.
  • Together with DHSC, an additional £1.6bn of discharge funding over 2023/24 and 2024/25, building on the £500m Adult Social Care Discharge Fund.

However, GPs have raised concerns about the lack of extra funding to support general practice within these plans – with no winter money allocated specifically to the service.

Earlier this year, Pulse revealed exclusively that NHS England will work towards incorporating general practice in the ‘OPEL’ system pressures framework over the next year.

Last year, NHS England also provided ‘no additional’ winter funding to support GPs.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Turn out The Lights 13 September, 2023 11:13 am

Winter crisis started and continue from the end of winter 2022/23.The cris is one of Tory austerity and chicken coming home to roost.

George Forrest 13 September, 2023 1:28 pm

NHS Providers chief exec Sir Julian Hartley tells Radio 4Today a ‘crucial’ element for the NHS winter plan is community solutions that will prevent hospital admissions and increase discharges.

I wonder how that crucial element is feasible with a £0 allocation for GP compared to over £3billion for other services. I guess we won’t be involved?

Simon Gilbert 13 September, 2023 1:37 pm

The issue is never the competence of the central planner. Rather it is that the central planner can never know enough and be responsive enough to plan an economy on behalf of others. Hayek showed this in 1945.

Andrew Schapira 13 September, 2023 2:19 pm

Downing Street crisis meeting must be an election soon

David Church 13 September, 2023 2:30 pm

Sounds like they are confident they have done loads of stuff already, using up huge amounts of money.
Pity that those actions will not help. Because they were not rally acted on, just electioneering gimmicks.

Rogue 1 13 September, 2023 5:06 pm

We’ve still not had the money for the staff 6% pay rise, so I’m not going to hold my breath on anything concrete
The good will is really running verrry thin now!

Michael Green 13 September, 2023 7:06 pm

Lame duck, time to duck off

Mr Marvellous 14 September, 2023 10:13 am

It seems that the NHS has been caught out by the surprise event of “Winter” again this year.

David jenkins 14 September, 2023 10:42 pm

given that 90% of activity is actually in GPland, i should have thought it a sensible move to give a few crumbs to those at the “point of first contact”

perhaps i am missing something ?