Our Response to the Winter Access Fund Announcement
Publication date: October 2021
Today the government announced a £250million Winter Access Fund which they say is designed to increase capacity in general practice, address variation in general practice, and improve communication with the public.
The LMC has summarised the document - Access Improvement Plan LMC Summary
Our response, like that of most people in general practice, is that the announcement will do nothing to address the very real issues facing primary care.
1800 GPs have been lost since 2015 and many practices are unable to recruit the GPs and other practice team members they need. £250million access funding cannot recruit GPs that do not exist.
The package asks general practice to increase face to face consultations and at the same time they have failed to remove metrics in the contract that force GPs to increase online consultations.
None of the workload initiatives mentioned in the support package can be delivered quickly and will make little to no difference in supporting general practice workload.
We are concerned that the government is out of touch with the reality of general practice, where long-terms problems of recruitment, funding, and workload, combined with the impact of the pandemic, have placed unsustainable pressures on the system.
The LMC is here to support GPs and practice teams - if you are concerned and in need of support please get in touch. We have a wide range of support which can be accessed via our support pages.