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Appointments to be increased for funding


15 January 2015

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Doctors will have to increase the number of the appointments they offer and improve access for older people in order to share £1bn worth of NHS funding.

NHS England has commissioned the £1bn worth of funding to transform the UK’s 8,500 GP practices, on the proviso that they offer more services, particularly to vulnerable patients.

Surgeries will also be expected to make much better use of technology to monitor patients’ health as a way of reducing their need to seek direct care from a doctor.

Doctors will have to increase the number of the appointments they offer and improve access for older people in order to share £1bn worth of NHS funding.

NHS England has commissioned the £1bn worth of funding to transform the UK’s 8,500 GP practices, on the proviso that they offer more services, particularly to vulnerable patients.

Surgeries will also be expected to make much better use of technology to monitor patients’ health as a way of reducing their need to seek direct care from a doctor.

Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive said:  “Any version of a better NHS over the next five years will need stronger GP services, resourced to offer a wider range of services.

“That’s why kick-starting an upgrade in primary care infrastructure is no longer a nice-to-have but is mission-critical.”

NHS England is inviting all 8,500 surgeries to submit bids for the first tranche of the money. A sum of £250m will be made available every year from April.

Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said that surgeries were “creaking under the strain [of] conducting 90% of all patient contacts for just 8.3% of the overall NHS budget.

“We hope this pledge of new money is the beginning of ‘a new deal for general practice’ and will allow us to treat more patients in the community, keeping them out of hospitals unless absolutely necessary.

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