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Minister denies Government encourages primary care same-day access hubs

Minister denies Government encourages primary care same-day access hubs

The Government and NHS England ‘do not encourage’ ICBs to implement same-day access hubs or any other model for primary care, the primary care minister has said.

Last month, North West London ICB said there is a ‘national imperative’ to progress plans for same-day hubs, which would leave GPs with only longer-term, ‘complex’ care. 

The MP for Kensington Felicity Buchan wrote to the Department of Health and Social Care to seek ‘clarification on this point’, asking whether the Government and NHS England is encouraging ICBs to ‘centralise requests for a same day GP appointment’.

Responding, primary care minister Andrea Leadsom stated that these decisions should be made ‘locally’ based on ‘stakeholder feedback’.

She said: ‘ICBs are free to commission new models of care in order to best serve the needs of their local population. 

‘The Department and NHSE do not encourage ICBs to implement any particular model and our position remains that these decisions must be made by clinical staff locally, taking into consideration patient choice and incorporating stakeholder feedback gathered when testing new models.’

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However, Ms Leadsom also cited the 2022 Fuller stocktake, a landmark review which recommended that same-day appointments are dealt with by ‘single, urgent care teams’ across larger teams.

At NWL ICB’s board meeting on Wednesday, CEO Rob Hurd said they have a ‘national policy imperative’ for ‘same-day access’ as outlined in the Fuller report.

He then said that locally the ICB has evidence of shortfalls in the primary care service, both from patient feedback and from inappropriate attendances at secondary care emergency settings.

Mr Hurd told attendees: ‘We’ve had a national policy direction which is seeking to improve access to primary care. And to be clear, we have examples of our residents telling us that the service could be more responsive. 

‘We have our acute providers telling us that at our urgent treatment centres they’re finding lots of people who are accessing services that could be more appropriately provided in a primary care setting.’ 

Last month, the BMA GP Committee England deputy chair said the union does not support plans to scale up same-day access to hubs, as they are ‘all about’ reducing A&E attendances rather than improving GP care.

When asked whether ICBs should be pushing ahead with the Fuller agenda and same-day access plans, NHS England primary care director Dr Amanda Doyle said she wants to ‘step back’ and let local systems test out their proposals.



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

Michael Mullineux 18 April, 2024 11:55 am

Pushing central agendas whilst letting local systems decide? Surely mutually exclusive?
Incompotence or doublespeak?

Michelle Drage 18 April, 2024 11:59 am

The only national imperative we need to enable patients to have proper access to authentic general practice is a national imperative to properly fund the core services that patients tell us they need. Everything else is voter obfuscation and doublespeak.

So the bird flew away 18 April, 2024 12:15 pm

Doublespeak definitely, from the Ministry of Untruths. Andrea Meddlesome lives up to her name.

Centreground Centreground 18 April, 2024 1:51 pm

There are salaried GPs/Partners/Locum GPs fighting to preserve locally responsive Primary Care and then there is the Government/PCN Clinical Directors /ICB Board GPs doing the exact opposite from my perspective

Douglas Callow 19 April, 2024 9:37 am

Well that’s simple enough……She is lying

Yes Man 19 April, 2024 10:26 am

Patients need same day access, GPs cannot provide it, A&E is not suitable-> same day hubs. Supply and demand, simples.

Samir Shah 20 April, 2024 11:56 am

GPs could provide it if NHSE and ICBs provided funds. As opposed to yet another expensive service that tells patients to go see their GP.

Philip Crosby 24 April, 2024 11:31 am

if demand exceeds supply then the price goes up . [Adam Smith … not Meercat]