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An independent evaluation on the first wave Prime Minister’s GP Access Fund (formerly Challenge Fund) pilots has now been published.
The £50 million Fund was announced in October 2013 to help improve access to general practice and increase innovation in primary care. The twenty wave one pilots commenced in April 2014 and further funding of £100m for a second wave of schemes was announced in September last year. Thirty seven schemes have been selected for 2015/16 involving over 1400 practices and 10.6m patients.
The first report on the national evaluation of the programme looks at how the first twenty pilots have delivered on their key objectives to provide more GP appointments, expand the types of patient appointments and improve patient and staff satisfaction in GP access.
The wave one pilots will use the results of the evaluation to work with their local CCGs and assess how the most successful aspects of their local pilot can be incorporated into future services. A second evaluation report will be published in the coming months which will present data over a longer period from the wave one pilots.