Five year forward view for general practice published by NHS England

policy digest

03 / 05 / 2016

General Practice Forward View
NHS England, April 2016

The General Practice Forward View has been published in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners and Health Education England. It covers five areas: overall investment, workforce, workload, infrastructure and care redesign. 

The overall investment will see recurrent funding to increase by an estimated £2.4 billion a year by 2020/21. This increases the share of spend on general practice services to over 10 per cent of overall health spending in England. A sustainability and transformation package has been developed of a further £500 million to support struggling practices, develop the workforce, stimulate care redesign and tackle workload. NHS England and the BMA are considering ways to better and more equally reward practices for their workloads based on their specific practice population demographics. 

There is a focus on doubling the growth rate of GPs through new incentives for training, recruitment, retention and return to practice. They aim to add a further 5,000 net in the next five years. They also aim for 3,000 new practice-based mental health therapists, 1,500 co-funded practice clinical pharmacists and nationally funded support for practice nurses, physician assistants, practice managers and receptionists. There will be more support for GPs’ personal resilience, focussing on burnout and mental health issues via a new free occupational health service. 

A further £40m will be invested into a practice resilience programme (£16m in 2016/17) with the possibility of establishing teams to go in to work directly in practices. This will support struggling practices, see changes to streamline the Care Quality Commission inspection regime, support for GPs suffering from burnout and stress, cuts in red tape, legal limits on administrative burdens at the hospital/GP interface and action to cut demand on general practice.

New rules will allow up to 100 per cent reimbursement of premises developments, direct practice investment in technology to support better online tools and appointment, consultation and workload management systems and better record sharing to support team work across practices. There will be development of IT services for 2017/18 including; funding for practice WiFi; access to planning and analysis data tools; guidelines on e-procurement; and funded support for patients to use online services.

There will also be support for individual practices and for federations and super partnerships; direct funding for improved in hours and out of hours access, including clinical hubs and reformed urgent care; and a new voluntary contract supporting integrated primary and community health services.  

A major programme of improvement to support, strengthen and redesign general practice will be invested in. New recurrent funding up to £500m annually by 2020/21 aims to allow locally determined evening and weekend access. A new Multispecialty Community Provider (MCP) contract will be voluntarily available to support new clinical and business model for integrated provision of primary and community services.

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