Jeremy Hunt outlines the Department's intention to ease pressure on GPs through increased funding and streamlined CQC inspections.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
“General practice is the jewel in the crown of the NHS and central to the future of the health service in the five year forward view. I am determined that we will address growing pressures on GPs and do even more to support the profession – so in February, we’ll be announcing a new package of measures consulting with the Royal College of GPs and the GPC on this. We’ll continue to reduce the burden of bureaucracy in general practice, and the Care Quality Commission will be looking at what more they can do to streamline their inspections. On top of this, I want to increase the proportion of funding going into general practice, so with NHS England we are now promising to invest 4-5 per cent more per year in general practice for the rest of this Parliament on top of the extra funding CCGs will put into primary care.”
- In one of his first major speeches in the new Parliament, the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt set out his commitment to general practice, which he views as one of the great strengths of the NHS and central to the Government’s vision for the future. He recognised the vital need to address growing pressures on general practice and support the profession.
- He promised to deliver 5000 more doctors in general practice by 2020; including a new successful marketing campaign to attract the best and brightest medical students to the profession – led by HEE in partnership with the RCGP – promoting the profession to university students and on social media; as well as more support for those who wish to return to the profession and developing specialist training opportunities to help attract doctors from other specialties into the profession. Since that time we have seen an increase in medical students applying to general practice.
- Future plans include a renewed drive to cut bureaucracy throughout general practice, including stopping re-referrals from hospitals back to GPs, streamlining payment systems so that practices don’t have to chase different organisations for payment, and helping surgeries become paperless.
- We will also announce further investment for the profession, building on the £1 billion already committed to improving GP facilities and technology, as well as investments in strategic developments in primary care like national workforce initiatives over this Parliament and the £175million in two waves of the Prime Minister’s GP Access Fund schemes to test innovative ways of improving access to GP services.
- In February the Health Secretary will give further detail of the support and investment in general practice to maintain the profession as the jewel in the crown of our NHS – working with NHS England, HEE, the RCGP and the GPC, including announcing further steps to increase the GP workforce, including incentives to help keep GPs in the profession and address areas with specific workforce shortages.