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Sustainability of pilots depends on CCG funding

Sustainability of pilots depends on CCG funding

The sustainability of the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund (PMCF) pilots is “largely reliant” on clinical commissioning group (CCG) funding, according to an NHS England review of the pilots
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The sustainability of the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund (PMCF) pilots is “largely reliant” on clinical commissioning group (CCG) funding, according to an NHS England review of the pilots.

Up until March 2015 the pilot schemes have identified that they had spent a total of £45 million (comprising both original PMCF funding and also any match funding), of the £50 million that Prime Minister David Cameron pledged in 2013 for the Challenge Fund pilots.

Of this, £14m was spent on extended hours, £16 million was spent on other enhanced primary care initiatives, and £15m was spent on infrastructure and enabling (eg, technology and project management).

However, the report said: “Ultimately the sustainability of specific pilot initiatives is largely reliant on CCG funding going forward.

“It will be down to their discretion to continue with initiatives that have been shown to be locally popular and have demonstrated positive results.”

The 20 pilots have successfully initiated a culture change in primary care, from independent small businesses to collaborated networks, a review on the pilots revealed.

NHS England’s first evaluation report on the Challenge Fund pilots said that cultural change is “not easy to achieve” and that “the injection of investment into primary care has had a catalytic effect”.

This has encouraged “practices to move away from operating as independent small businesses and, instead, work collectively,” the report read.

It also found that there is “very low” uptake of Sunday GP appointments, however there is “evident demand” for Saturday (particularly morning) appointments and extended mid-week hours.

It read: “Based on the evidence on current provision and utilisation of extended hours it is suggested that 41-51 total extended hours per week are required per 100,000 registered population in order to meet the levels of demand experienced in these pilots; of these 30-37 hours should be GP hours. 

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