General Practice Resilience Programme

The General Practice Resilience Programme was announced as part of the General Practice Forward View. The programme will provide £40 million over four years (until 2020) to support GP practices and to build resilience into the system.

The purpose of the fund is to deliver support that will help practices to become more sustainable and resilient, better placed to tackle the challenges they face now and into the future, and secure continuing high quality care for patients.

We recognise that practices do not exist in isolation from one another and the impact of one or two issues can quickly have a ‘domino effect’ in local areas, therefore the resilience programme allows support to be extended to not only the most at risk GP Practices, but also to their neighbouring practices that may be at risk of struggling if a practice in the vicinity becomes unable to cope. By building resilience into the system we reduce the risks to practices working at capacity, supporting them to better respond to the workload pressures that are widely recognised general practice.

The first £16 million of the funding was allocated for the 2016/17 financial year. A further £8 million of funding was  allocated in the 2017/18 financial year, with £8 million more allocated for 2018/19 and 2019/20. You can view details of how 2017/18 funding has been allocated here.

This funding is in addition to £10 million of investment, committed in December 2015 under the Vulnerable Practices Programme, to support practices identified as needing the greatest support. Following this pilot, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) was commissioned to provide a Peer Support Programme for practices in Special Measures (this programme closed in October 2017).

What support is available?

The menu of support ranges from helping to stabilise practices at risk of closure through to more transformational support, including if appropriate helping practices to explore new models of care.

This could include:

  • Diagnostic services to quickly identify areas for improvement support
  • Specialist advice and guidance e.g. human resources, IT
  • Coaching/Supervision/Mentorship
  • Practice Management Capacity Support
  • Rapid Intervention and management support for Practices at risk of closure
  • Co-ordinated support to help practices struggling with workforce issues
  • Change management and improvement support to individual practices or group of practices

Support is available to individual practices as well as being available on a greater scale to groups of practices in localities.

Across the country support is being delivered in a number of ways including through local resilience teams or through access to experienced GPs and other practice staff skilled in helping to address practice management, recruitment issues, and supporting capacity to plan and implement changes.

You can view case studies of practices and localities which have received support.

The RCGP has also published a case study of the turnaround support provided to help practices improve after being placed in special measures by the Care Quality Commission.

Support is free to practices, conditional only on matched commitment from practices, evidence through an agreed action plan/memorandum of understanding.