Improving access to general practice

To date, support for extended access to GP services has been delivered by the GP Access Fund, with funding of £150 million awarded to 57 pilot schemes, covering more than 2,500 practices and a population of over 18 million people.

The General Practice Forward View (GP Forward View) published in April 2016 committed £500 million by 2020/21 to enable clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to commission and fund additional capacity across England to ensure that, by 2020 everyone has access to GP services including sufficient routine appointments at evenings and weekends to meet locally determined demand, alongside effective access to out of hours and urgent care services.  The 2017/19 NHS Shared Planning Guidance sets out the funding trajectory for this work, supporting CCGs to deliver extended access as part of delivering the GP Forward View.

The first results of the general practice access collection are now available on NHS England’s statistics website. The collection has been set up to monitor the availability of pre-bookable appointments in general practice on evenings and weekends. This was announced as part of the 2016-17 GMS contract. The collection will be run every six months.

For more information in regards to any aspect of this programme or wider GP access, please contact the team at england.gpaccess@nhs.net.