Supporting General Practice: Additional £120 million funding for April to September 2021

Publications approval reference: C1216

Copy: ICS leads

An electronic copy of this letter, and all other relevant guidance from NHS England and NHS Improvement can be found here.

19 March 2021

Dear CCGs and GPs,

Thank you for the work you have done, and continue to do, to support the response to the pandemic, including the successful delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination programme alongside wider patient care. The work of general practice is greatly valued and appreciated.

It remains a priority to maintain and expand general practice capacity in order to support the ongoing response to COVID-19, tackle the backlog of care, and continue to support delivery of the vaccination programme. That must include making full use of PCN entitlements under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme, with an objective of 15,500 FTE roles in place by the end of the year, as well as ensuring active support for GP recruitment and retention initiatives.

To provide further support to general practice at this critical moment, we are extending the General Practice Covid Capacity Expansion Fund for the period from 1 April to 30 September 2021. £120 million of revenue funding will be allocated to systems, ringfenced exclusively for general practice, to support the expansion of capacity until the end of September. Monthly allocations will be £30m in April and May, £20m in each of June and July and reach £10m in August and September. The funding is non-recurrent and should not be used to fund commitments running beyond this period.

The conditions attached to the allocation and use of this funding are as set out in the initial General Practice Covid Capacity Expansion Fund letter of 9 November 2020, and systems are expected to use the funding to make further progress on the seven priorities identified in that letter. Though this funding is not allocated to support COVID-19 vaccination directly, we expect systems to prioritise spending on any PCNs committed to deliver the Covid Vaccination Enhanced Service (including for cohorts 10-12) whose capacity requirements are greater.

With our appreciation and thanks for everything you are doing.

Ed Waller | Director of Primary Care | NHS England and NHS Improvement

Dr Nikita Kanani | Medical Director for Primary Care | NHS England and NHS Improvement