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CCGs to get £6 per patient for better access to general practice from 2019


23 September 2016

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Every clinical commissioning group (CCG) will be given £6 per patient to improve access to general practice from April 2019, NHS England has announced.

In new planning guidance, NHS England and NHS Improvement have detailed the recurrent funding to be rolled out to practices in England as part of the GP Forward View.

Every clinical commissioning group (CCG) will be given £6 per patient to improve access to general practice from April 2019, NHS England has announced.

In new planning guidance, NHS England and NHS Improvement have detailed the recurrent funding to be rolled out to practices in England as part of the GP Forward View.

The guidance, which covers two years, says total recurrent funding would amount to £138 million by 2017/18 and £258 million by 2018/19.

NHS England has said the investment should enable CCGs to commission practices to accept pre-bookable and same day appointments to general practice services in evenings, after 6:30pm and at weekends, “meeting local population needs as appropriate”.

This year, the funding will be made available to GP Access Fund pilot sites before including additional sites in 2017/18.

From 2018/19, the investment will be rolled out to the whole of England, “so that from April 2019 every CCG can expect a minimum additional £6 per head to improve access to general practice,” a statement from NHS England said.

The statement continued, saying that the plans “will contribute to the overall ambition of investing an extra £2.4bn in general practice services by 2020/21”, as was pledged in the GP Forward View.

The planning guidance document said that CCGs must “extend and improve access in line with requirements for new national funding” by March 2019 at the latest.

The guidance also urges CCGs to support GP practices to work “at scale” in the vanguard system by 2018/19 to “ensure the sustainability of general practice”.

Arvind Madan, NHS England’s director of primary care, said: “We know that general practice is under pressure and we are determined to maintain the momentum in turning things around, as started with the launch of the General Practice Forward View.

“Today’s planning guidance, with detail on how investment will look in the coming years, demonstrates the steps we will be taking with CCGs to both stabilise and transform GP services in the years to come, for the benefit of staff and patients.”

CCGs will need to provide plans outlining their approach to implementing the General Practice Forward View by 23 December 2016 as part of the NHS Planning process.

Dr Graham Jackson, NHS clinical commissioners co-chair, said: “The timescales that the planning guidance sets out for delivery will be challenging to achieve. This is a matter of particular concern this year given that contracts will be signed over a two year period rather than one – something that if we get it right will lead to increased stability and certainty for the system and better patient outcomes, but if rushed could lead to unsatisfactory results for commissioners, providers and most importantly our local patients.”

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