NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens announces the next three concrete actions to implement the General Practice Forward View implementation
Speaking at the National Association of Primary Care Annual Conference in Birmingham, and to mark ‘NHS Change Day’, NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens will today unveil the latest action to support GPs and primary care sustain and expand services.
First, he will announce the GP practices to benefit from NHS England’s Estates and Technology Transformation Fund. The Estates and Technology Transformation Fund is a multi-million pound investment boost in GP premises and technology, to improve and expand out of hospital care for patients, a key commitment set out in the General Practice Forward View. Mr Stevens will today announce that nearly 300 new schemes across the country that are set to be supported this year, subject to passing a set of due diligence checks. This follows, 560* schemes that have already now been completed across the country and 316 schemes that are in the process of completion, meaning patients and staff are already benefitting from improved facilities. A number of larger scale schemes are also planned for completion in future years.
The first set of the 300 schemes unveiled for support in principle this year are in the Midlands and the East and are set out in the table below*. Other schemes across the country will be set out from the end of October. These schemes are also supported in principle subject to a set of due diligence checks.
Second, Mr Stevens will also announce the first stage of delivery of expanded psychological therapies in primary care for patients with long term conditions including diabetes or COPD. This to kick start the commitment to fund an extra 3,000 mental health therapists in GP practices. NHS England is today awarding more than £11m in 2016/17 and over £24m in 2017/18 to fund 30 Clinical Commissioning Groups to improve mental health care for patients with long term conditions through 22 different psychological therapies schemes. They are expected to start seeing patients beginning within the next three months. Many people with anxiety disorders or depression also have a long term condition like diabetes or COPD. A pilot showed that treating people’s physical and mental health problems in an integrated way can lead to better outcomes improving both people’s mental health and their management of their long term condition.
Third, Mr Stevens will launch a £5million scheme to support GPs with indemnity costs for working in GP out of hours services and unscheduled care services including NHS 111 to boost services during the busy winter period. The scheme will cover the costs of personal professional indemnity for GPs wishing to undertake additional out of hours work up until March 2017, to give them the freedom to work sessions without having to pay additional indemnity costs. It meets a key commitment in the General Practice Forward View and is part of broader work to address the rising costs of indemnity, a growing concern in general practice in recent years.
NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens will say: “The NHS needs strong primary care services, and today we’re taking further practical action to provide GPs with modern surgeries to work from, expanded staff to offer their patients a wider range of mental health care, and better support for GPs who look after patients at evenings and weekends. We meant it when we said GP services are the bedrock of the NHS, and we’re backing that commitment with concrete action to deliver the General Practice Forward View.”
Earlier this month, NHS England also announced that in January 2017, a nationwide, £19.5m NHS GP Health service, will be introduced to improve access to mental health support for general practitioners and trainee GPs. A range of improvements to the Induction and Refresher scheme were also unveiled to increase support for GPs who have been out of practice as well as speeding up the time it takes them to return to practice in England.
*Estates and Technology Transformation Fund – schemes from 2016/17
In June 2016, local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) submitted recommendations to NHS England for Estates and Technology Transformation Fund, in line with their local estates and digital plans for investment in a range of GP premises and technology schemes.
In 2016/17, nearly 300 schemes will be supported, subject to due diligence checks. The first set of the 300 schemes unveiled for support in principle this year are in the Midlands and the East and are listed below. Other schemes across the country will be published from the end of October. Further schemes are planned for future years.