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DH announces plans for £325m investment in local healthcare reforms


By Carolyn Wickware
19 July 2017

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The Government has announced how it plans to spend £325m on local plans to transform health and social care.

The capital funding will be allocated to 25 of the ‘the strongest and most advanced schemes’ in 15 areas across England.

According to the DH, the largest sums of money are going to Greater Manchester, Dorset and Cumbria, with five schemes to support GPs set to receive funding.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said the funding is ‘a small step in the right direction’.

The Government has announced how it plans to spend £325m on local plans to transform health and social care.

The capital funding will be allocated to 25 of the ‘the strongest and most advanced schemes’ in 15 areas across England.

According to the DH, the largest sums of money are going to Greater Manchester, Dorset and Cumbria, with five schemes to support GPs set to receive funding.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said the funding is ‘a small step in the right direction’.

He said: ‘Given that the Conservatives have promised £10bn of extra capital for the NHS in England, we should expect a much more serious capital injection in the Budget statement later this year.’

Chancellor Philip Hammond first announced plans to invest £325m in the local health and social care reforms as part of the Spring Budget in March.

Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said the Government was ‘firing the starting gun’ on the health and social care plans.

He said: ‘For patients it’ll mean easier GP appointments, modern A&Es, and better cancer and mental health care.

‘For staff, we’re putting our money where our mouth is in backing these practical plans developed by doctors, nurses and local NHS leaders.’

The secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt, added the money ‘will support strong local plans to help the NHS modernise and transform care for patients’.

He said in a written statement to Parliament that the schemes, which received funding, were ‘judged’ by NHS England to be ‘sufficiently advanced’.

Mr Hunt said NHS England will publish a ranking of the local plans on Friday.

Mr Dickson added that the decision to rate individual STPs is a ‘mixed blessing’.

He said: ‘While there is a case for setting a baseline to measure future progress, we are concerned that the measures at this point must be relatively crude.

‘It may make sense to incentivise those who are most advanced, and set a baseline for future progress but it would be a mistake to stigmatise partnerships that are at an early stage in their development.

‘There will be good reasons why some areas are progressing more slowly and it's vital we give them the support they need, rather than point the finger.’

A full list of the schemes and the funding they are set to receive is here.

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