General Practice Forward View Annual Assessment Year 2

GP Forward View Year 2The GPFV remains a much-needed lifeline for general practice but we are now calling for a radical overhaul of the GPFV.

The transformational ambitions of the GPFV must not be lost and we still believe it is the best platform by which to invest in general practice. However, if we are to enable true transformation we must invest in increased capacity in primary care.

Most urgently, there are now 1000 fewer GPs working in England than when the GPFV was released, meaning that urgent action is needed to expand the workforce. The declining workforce has increased the workload pressure on those who remain in the profession.

Though the current £2.4bn extra investment in the GPFV is welcome we are concerned that patients are not sufficiently feeling the benefits. As plans are drawn up to spend the additional money committed to the NHS by the Prime Minister, the vital importance of general practice must be recognised.

That is why we're now calling for £2.5bn extra a year to be ploughed into general practice services by 2020/21, bringing investment up to £14.5bn a year. This would constitute 11% of the overall NHS budget, bringing funding in line with what it was in 2005.

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.

GP Forward View Year 1

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

Spotlight on the 10 High Impact Actions

This report is the result of our research on the effectiveness of NHS England's Time for Care Programme, specifically its 10 High Impact Actions: a range of initiatives that were introduced with the aim of increasing capacity in general practice and reducing GP workload which were introduced two years ago.

The Time for Care Programme is part of the commitments outlined in the GP Forward View and this research is part of our ongoing work monitoring and evaluating all aspects of the GPFV. It is fundamental to the College's work that we continue to ensure that NHS England are held to account on delivery of the pledges, so that our members can feel the impact on their working day.

Our research has found that whilst there has been some success helping spread pragmatic advice for GPs, and tools to help tackle workload across general practice, NHS England should expand those schemes with the highest potential to reduce administrative work for GPs and other effective measures.

Our report outlines a series of recommendations for NHS England and for GPs. We are calling on NHS England to expand schemes with high potential to reduce administrative work for GPs and we are calling on government to ensure every GP surgery has funding to have access to a dedicated social prescriber in a bid to tackle crippling GP workload and effectively signpost patients to the right services.

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