Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund

In October 2013, the Prime Minister announced a new £50 million Challenge Fund to help improve access to general practice and stimulate innovative ways of providing primary care services.

First wave of pilot schemes

NHS England invited GP practices to submit their ‘expressions of interest’ (EOIs) to be one of the first wave of pilots in December 2013, before selecting the final list of successful schemes in April 2014. Twenty pilot schemes have been selected that will benefit over 7 million patients across more than 1,100 practices.

A wide variety of innovative ideas are being tested including extended opening hours, more ways for patients to access services and new services to better support patients with complex needs.

For more information about the first wave pilots, see the latest on the 20 Wave 1 pilot schemes.

Invitation to be part of the second cohort of innovative practices improving access to patients in England

On 30 September 2014, the Prime Minister announced a new second wave of access pilots, with further funding of £100m for 2015/16. The Government has asked NHS England to lead the process of inviting practices to submit innovative bids and overseeing the new pilots.

NHS England has published details on how to apply to become a wave two pilot site, the application criteria and timescales, together with some Q&A.

Applicants should submit a completed proforma by 5pm Friday 16 January 2015 to:, copying in their area team.

Future dates and links for attendance on these webinars is as follows:

PM Challenge Fund – technology support events

To support the technology elements of wave one and two pilots, we recently held workshops in Leeds and London. The purpose was to provide advice and guidance to the prospective general practice pilots in order to understand the common challenges GPs face and how technology can best support these requirements and to assist with the development of the technical delivery plans as outlined in the criteria for ‘Capacity and Rapid Implementation’. The presentation slide packs from these events are available below:

  • Dr Robert Varnam, Head of General Practice Development, NHS England
  • Beverley Bryant, Director of Strategic Systems & Development, NHS England
  • Tracey Grainger, Head of Digital Primary Care, NHS England
  • Robin Vickers, Executive Director, Digital Life Sciences, Health United Birmingham
  • Dr Chris Jones, Programme Director, West Wakefield Health & Wellbeing Ltd
  • Graeme Cleland, Managing Director, Taurus Healthcare (London event only)
  • Gerald Ellis, Programme Manager, Primary Care Transformation, Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Area Team (Leeds event only)

GP Patient Survey results (by practice) (2013-14)

This includes practice-level results from the latest GP Patient Survey (GPPS) (2013-14) for selected questions about experience of access and opening hours. Results are presented as percentages from the total number of respondents to each question. Where available, 95 per cent confidence intervals are provided. Confidence intervals show how much variability there is in results derived from survey data. For the data provided, the true result for the underlying practice population will lie within the confidence limits shown around 95 per cent of the time. The sample size of the GPPS is chosen to deliver 95 per cent confidence intervals of approximately +/- 9 per cent at practice level.

The full set of survey results, for practices and CCGs, are available on the GPPS website.