Questions and Answers

  1. Why have you changed the name?
  2. What is the Prime Minister’s GP Access Fund for?
  3. Who was eligible to apply?
  4. How did you select the successful schemes?
  5. How many practices are participating?
  6. What kind of innovative services are being tested?
  7. How much funding has each successful wave one and wave two application received?
  8. What are the sizes of the schemes?
  9. When will wave one pilots end?
  10. Who has conducted the evaluation?
  11. When will wave two start and end?
  12. What support is being made available to the schemes?
  13. What difference is there between wave one and wave two pilots?
  14. Why have you spent money on evaluation?
  15. Will the Fund run again in 2016/17?
  16. What can the Fund be used to pay for?
  17. How does Fund connect with the Five Year Forward View?
  18. How will Government deliver 7 day GP access?

Why have you changed the name?

To better reflect and make clear what the fund is about – GP access.

What is the Prime Minister’s GP Access Fund for?

The Fund will test new ways of delivering GP services, supporting better access to general practice for the public and improve patient experience.

Who was eligible to apply?

GP practices in England that deliver NHS-funded primary medical care services could apply to become a pilot. We expected practices to collaborate to deliver improved services to patients at a scale greater than a single practice provides.

The aim of wave two is to spread innovation and learning with a new cohort that improves and extends access for more patients not already benefitting under wave one schemes. Practices successful in wave one could not therefore bid in wave two.

How did you select the successful schemes?

The schemes were selected by NHS England who assessed applications against the published criteria (public and patient engagement; sustainability; scale and ambition; leadership and commitment; link to local strategy; capacity for rapid implementation; and extending access).

Bids were shortlisted and prioritised locally and then reviewed by a national panel that included patient representatives, and senior NHS England, DH and CCG representatives. The final list of schemes demonstrates a range of highly innovative approaches to delivering services and making them more accessible.

How many practices are participating?

Taking both waves together the Fund now comprises 57 schemes, covering a population of 18 million patients across more than 2,500 practices. Almost a third of all practices in England will be engaged in delivering improved access for their patients through this Fund.

What kind of innovative services are being tested?

These range from opening 8am to 8pm, seven days a week and more innovative ways to access services by telephone or video consultation, to developing more integrated services with a single point of contact to co-ordinate patient services across health and social care.

How much funding has each successful wave one and wave two application received?

There was no set amount allocated for each site. This depended on the size, scope and development needs of each application.

What are the sizes of the schemes?

The schemes range in size – our smallest pilot is Health United Birmingham from wave one, covering 22,000 patients and one of our largest is the One Care Consortium in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire which involves 82 practices and covers 725,000 patients. All the schemes will be testing innovative ways of delivering services and improving access.

When will wave one pilots end?

Over seven million patients have benefitted from the initial £50m investment. The pilots have had a positive impact in providing patients with better, wide-ranging access as well as more choice about when and how they see are treated. We extended the wave one pilots with their agreement to September 2015 to enable them to build the evidence base for the future. Schemes are now working with their local CCGs, to identify how the most successful aspects of their pilot approaches can be taken forward to best meet patient needs

Who has conducted the evaluation?

In June 2014 following a competitive procurement process, Mott MacDonald, working with SQW, were appointed as the national evaluation partner for wave one. They have produced numerous innovation showcases, 20 individual summary reports and will provide two evaluation reports. The first evaluation report has been published in October 2015 and the second will be published in the next few months.

When will wave two start and end?

NHS England began working with the successful sites straight away to complete final due diligence on their plans and put appropriate contracts in place. Exact start dates will depend on the scale of mobilisation required for each. Central funding is non recurrent until the end of March 2016.

What support is being made available to the schemes?

The schemes will have access to an innovative support programme that has been designed in partnership with practices, commissioners and improvement experts, and was shaped by the feedback of wave one pilots. They will have the chance to connect with one another and receive expert advice, coaching and training through a wide variety of means.

What difference is there between wave one and wave two pilots?

There were many good quality bids for wave one last year that we were unable to fund. Many of these had different innovative solutions to delivering improved access for patients and better patient experience and this new cohort of schemes will give us a broader perspective building on the learning from wave one.

Why have you spent money on evaluation?

Evaluation is a core strand of the Fund programme in order that we can share learning more widely. As part of the early planning, we agreed with schemes how they can help to spread innovation across all practices. It is important that we capture the learning from the schemes in order that it can be shared with every GP practice in the country so all patients can benefit in the longer term. Wave two schemes will also participate in more focused evaluation to ensure we maxmise the learning from these schemes.

Will the Fund run again in 2016/17?

The Fund has been announced to support schemes in 2015/16. Schemes were asked to set out how their proposals will be sustainable beyond this period. The evaluation of both waves will inform further national strategic direction.

What can the Fund be used to pay for?

We did not stipulate what the Fund could or couldn’t be used for. Each application set out what the money would be used for and how this would meet the aims of the Fund.

How does Fund connect with the Five Year Forward View?

To achieve the vision of a new deal for primary care, as set out in The Five Year Forward View, we need to extend access to services and develop infrastructure in general practice to enable the expansion and improvement of service.

How will Government deliver 7 day GP access?

The Department of Health will be setting out more detailed plans for implementing manifesto commitments in the current months.