Funding from £40m GP resilience programme to support struggling practices across England has been released.
Although further funding will be made available over the next three years, a total of £16m will be made available this financial year, with each NHS area receiving between £600,000 to over £1m to support practices. Practices will be offered specialist support on HR, IT, staffing and practice management through a series of workshops, learning sessions and agreed action plans. As explained to GP Online on 28 July 2016, NHS England will manage the funding ‘to allow support to be developed and targeted more closely to practices where support is needed the most’.
Humberside LMC Medical Director and GPC member Dr Krishna Kasareneni said “It is encouraging that the government is finally showing signs of recognising the immense pressures facing GP practices which has left many on the brink of closure.”
GP Indemnity Costs Funding
NHS England are to introduce new funding over the next two years to fully offset the rising cost of GP indemnity. This funding is a short term solution whilst NHS England works on wider plans to reform current indemnity arrangements.
NHS England will repeat the winter indemnity scheme which it ran in 2015. However, the wider package of support is worth up to £60m over two years. The funding will be paid out to practices based on list size and will then be available to support the cost of indemnity for GPs, both partners and employees.
There are some concerns that the funding will not make a huge difference in rising indemnity costs for GPs. As explained to GP Online, Dr Charlotte Jones from the BMA said “The increasing costs of indemnity cover is causing concern for all GPs and is starting to have a detrimental impact on most GPs who simply cannot afford to work more sessions or maintain their current working commitments.
‘This announcement today does offer some immediate financial support to practices that is much needed, and is to be welcomed, but we will be examining this in more detail. We do need to find a long-term solution to this issue that is not just a quick fix.’