STPs must prioritise general practice to be effective, says RCGP

Publication date: 19 July 2017

Responding to the announcement of £325 million in extra capital funding for Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs), Professor Helen-Stokes Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Extra money for the NHS is very welcome but it is vital that there are clear plans for getting all new and existing funds to GPs on the frontline so we can continue to deliver safe care to our patients.

"STPs are crucial to delivering the GP Forward View in England, which should be a lifeline for struggling general practice. If they fail to prioritise general practice, it is only a matter of time before GPs and their teams collapse, with the rest of the NHS following closely behind.

"It is very disappointing that of the 25 projects identified for investment today, only five appear to increase direct investment in general practice services. As it stands, we are concerned that not all STPs can demonstrate that 15-20% of the Sustainability and Transformation Fund allocations are going to general practice. NHS England should ensure that further investment reflects the crucial role GPs and our teams are playing in local healthcare economies. 

"We welcome the inclusion of a GP domain in the new ranking of STPs, and we look forward to seeing the underpinning data to understand what this means in practice. NHS England must take urgent action against any STP which does not sufficiently address the sustainability and quality of general practice, including workforce and workload issues and working at the primary and secondary care interface. STPs must have meaningful and ongoing engagement with their local GPs but we know from our own network of ambassadors, whose role it is to engage with STPs, that it is a very mixed picture and this is not good enough."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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