Patients visiting their GP in the South East will be offered better access to specialist health services, as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.
From today, surgeries and practices across the South East will come together to form teams offering patients more convenient access to treatment and support from physios, therapists and other professionals.
By giving more people access to different types of care, the new primary care networks will free up family doctors’ time to devote more time and attention to the sickest patients.
Across the country, around 7,000 GP practices have signed-up to the new model, supported by billions of pounds of extra investment in GP services.
As well as more convenient access to treatment without the need for a lengthy referral, GPs will be supported to do more to tackle killer conditions like cancer, heart disease and diabetes, while also offering more support for people with conditions like depression and anxiety, by basing mental health therapists in surgeries.
Dr Nikki Kanani, a GP and NHS England’s Acting Medical Director for Primary Care, added:
“People in the South East will benefit from access to more convenient and specialist care through their local GP.
“As part of the Long Term Plan for the NHS, GP surgeries large and small will be working together to deliver more specialist services to patients.
“The extra investment, additional staff and more convenient care will be a game-changer for NHS patients and in the South East and across the country, family doctors are coming together in networks which will not only deliver better care, but a more efficient use of vital NHS resources.”
Sarah Macdonald, NHS England’s Director of Primary Care and Public Health Commissioning for the South East said:
”This is an exciting time for our GP practices in the South East. The NHS Long Term Plan, outlines how primary care networks will transform how healthcare is provided in the community, through additional investment and more collaborative working between GP practices and their teams within local geographical areas. The recruitment of multi-disciplinary teams to support GPs, including pharmacists, physiotherapists, paramedics, physician associates and social prescribing support workers will help family doctors improve the care they are able to deliver to patients”.
Setting up primary care networks across the South East is the foundation of improvements to NHS services set out in its Long Term Plan published in January.
To help family doctors deliver improved care, a new landmark agreement between GPs and national NHS leaders will see additional funding of £4.5 billion and the recruitment of 20,000 members of staff to support GPs, building on the increase of more than 5,000 extra practice staff working with GPs over the past four years.
Notes to editors:
About NHS England and NHS Improvement
From 1 April NHS England and NHS Improvement have come together to act as a single organisation. Our aim is to better support the NHS and help improve care for patients.
NHS England and NHS improvement set the priorities and direction for the NHS, encouraging and informing the national debate to improve health and care. The NHS in England deals with over 1 million patients every 36 hours and employs more than 1.5 million people, putting it in the top five of the world’s largest workforces. More than £100 billion in funds is shared out with organisations held to account for spending this money effectively for patients and efficiently for the tax payer. We strongly believe in health and high-quality care for all, now and for future generations.
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