Policy Watch

Friday 30 October 2015

Health Secretary outlines measures for greater patient power (DoH)

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt outlined plans for the most patient-focused NHS culture ever with new 'Ofsted-style' ratings showing patients how their local area's health service is performing in crucial areas such as cancer, dementia and mental health. The first ratings will be published in June 2016. Clinicians will also benefit from a range of new measures to cut bureaucracy including immediately stopping referrals from hospitals back to GPs, giving 2 hours a week back to each GP – the equivalent of 15 million appointments a year. Other measures include introducing a single payment system covering all GP transactions and making surgeries paperless by 2018.

Primary Care Transformation Fund promises major upgrades to GP premises (NHS England)

The next phase of NHS England's £1billion Primary Care Transformation Fund promises to improve existing GP premises so patients can access more services out of hospital and in their local communities. The funding will be made up of four yearly investments. The Fund aims to help address rising demand on GP services. The first £250 million investment will help GP practices make much needed improvements in premises and technology as well as support more ambitious longer term plans to improve out-of-hospital health services.

First independent evaluation of the Prime Minister's GP Access Fund published (NHS England)

An independent evaluation on the first wave of the Prime Minister's GP Access Fund has reported on how the first twenty pilots have delivered on their key objectives to provide more GP appointments, expand the types of patient appointments and improve patient and staff satisfaction in GP access. The wave one pilots will use the results of the evaluation to work with their local CCGs and assess how the most successful aspects of their local pilot can be incorporated into future services.

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