General Practice Forward View

GP Forward View Annual Assessment

This is the image of the cover from the GP Forward View Assessment of progressA year on from the launch of the General Practice Forward View, the College is releasing its assessment report on the first year of its implementation.

The report is a major milestone for the College. We recognise there has been good progress in many areas, not least on additional investment. However, we are very concerned that not enough progress is being made to increase the number of doctors working in General Practice and we are calling for a ‘rethink’ on how the commitment of 5000 more doctors working in general practice will be met.

In addition, the annual assessment highlights the imperative to find solutions to spiralling indemnity costs, and identifies the need to improve the delivery of some programmes, so that they provide GPs and their teams with the lifeline that they urgently require.

Commenting on the report Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the RCGP, said: “There has been a lot of good work going on – and it’s great to hear that additional funding for our service is on track. We are certainly not suggesting that NHS England, Health Education England and others have been resting on their laurels – we know they are committed to making things better in general practice.

"But it is clear that there is a lot more to do, specifically around building our workforce. We need the GP Forward View delivered in full and in time, and if that involves a re-think of some strategies, then so be it – it’s necessary and in the best interests of GPs, the wider NHS and our patients."

The College will continue to hold the Government, NHS England and others to account for the promises in the GP Forward View, so that it delivers the benefits it should for frontline general practice and patient care.

GP Forward View Explained

GP Forward View interim assessment

The success of the GP Forward View depends on the plan being implemented on time and in full – the College has been clear that we will be working to hold the Government, NHS England, HEE and others to account for delivering the pledges made in the GP Forward View.

Nine months on from the publication of the GP Forward View we have published an interim assessment of its delivery, which consists of an analysis of the short and medium-term pledges made in the GP Forward View, as well as an assessment of the development 44 Sustainability and Transformation Plans in England.  

The report finds that while there have been some key successes, such the launch of a £16m GP health service and changes to the Induction & Refresher scheme for returning GPs, the implementation of the plan to the frontline is being hampered by a number of issues.

The report also finds that STPs are failing to engage with the pressing need to invest in general practice, with a number of them failing to even mention the GP Forward View or engage with its plans for general practice. Most troublingly, some even plan for a reduction in the number of GPs, despite the GP Forward View’s commitment to deliver 5,000 additional GPs by 2020.

The College will continue to push for the full implementation of the GP Forward View. We will publish a fuller annual review of the first year of the GP Forward View after the end of the financial year. We will also continue to track investment, to sit on a number of GP Forward View advisory groups, and to engage with our members to ensure they are well informed about the GP Forward View and supported to access its schemes and funding.

Updates on GP indemnity, practice resilience and Time for Care

The first wave of the measures surrounding the GP Forward View have been announced:

  • Practice Resilience Programme: the first £16m of the new £40 million has been released to help struggling practices across the country.
  • The General practice development programme: The first phase of the three-year, £30 million, programme Time for Care has opened for expressions of interest. It will give every practice in the country the opportunity to receive training and development support.  
  • GP indemnity: New funding to fully offset the rising cost of, and wider plans to reform indemnity arrangements

Read FAQ documents on the new Indemnity scheme [PDF]

You can also find out more about the College's Put Patients First: Back general Practice campaign and the actions in General Practice Forward view in this presentation document [PDF]

Campaign News April 2016

RCGP Regional Ambassadors

The College has set up a new network of Regional Ambassadors across England to promote general practice and ensure the support and investment set out in the GP Forward View is delivered to practices as quickly as possible.

An early priority for the Regional Ambassadors will be to engage with the 44 new Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) Footprints. These are regional bodies in England that have significant powers over investment in health and social care services in their areas - including general practice.

How will the General Practice Forward View improve the patient experience?

Easier to make a GP appointment for patients

5000 more GPs, greater training of non-clinical staff to deal with paperwork, and a reduction of the bureaucracy GPs have to deal with will mean more time available to be spent where it matters, with patients. More appointments will be available to book online, making access to general practice easier for busy people.

More GP services will be available within the community

Assessments and treatments which used to need a hospital visit will now be offered within the community, helping make sure patients have easier access to the services they need.

Reduction in the number of unnecessary hospital admissions

A coordinated approach to assessments and care planning, and more nurses based in the community for patients who need long term support, will reduce hospital admissions.

Improved continuity of care

Helping GPs to stay in work for longer and supporting locum GPs to stay in the same place for extended periods will improve continuity of care for patients, meaning they are more likely to be able to see the same GP each appointment.

Safer more convenient care for patients

The move to a paperless, coded system and changes in the rules around referrals will improve patient safety and create a quicker, more seamless experience for patients receiving hospital care.

More emphasis on prevention, helping patients to stay active longer

Specialist staff will be available to support patients at risk of needing to leave work, with 3000 additional mental health workers, and a focus on early intervention for back pain and other musculoskeletal problems.

Getting to see the right person more quickly

Increasing the skills available to general practice teams will mean patients see the most appropriate person to help them more quickly and easily. New ways of approaching care will mean specialist pharmacists, mental health workers, social workers, voluntary sector workers and practice nurses will be accessible within practices for patients to see if they wish, freeing up GP time for complex cases.

Helping patients to manage their own care

As well as helping patients with long term conditions to plan and manage their treatments in consultation with their GP, self-care and the management of minor illnesses will be promoted, ensuring the resources in general practice are available to help patients when they need them.

Protection from local practice closure

A new safety net for struggling GP practices will be created, protecting patients from experiencing the anxiety and disruption of practice closures. New teams of experts will be ready to be brought in where practices need help, to build up capacity and quality, and make them sustainable again.

More modern healthcare environment

More investment will be put into the GP surgery environment, with wifi available for staff and patients, and improved buildings providing space for bigger multidisciplinary teams and a modern, safe environment for patients.

Action to tackle health inequalities

A fairer funding formula for general practice, which will lead to more money being available per patient for practices in deprived and rural areas.

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