This site is intended for health professionals only

Funding for general practice is an ‘urgent priority’, says secondary care boss


18 November 2016

Share this story:
Twitter
LinkedIn

Secondary care leaders have urged the Government to make adding funding to general practice an “urgent priority” ahead of next week’s Autumn Statement.

NHS Providers have asked the Government to use its Autumn Statement on 23 November to deliver extra funding beyond hospitals and into the areas of greatest need.

Secondary care leaders have urged the Government to make adding funding to general practice an “urgent priority” ahead of next week’s Autumn Statement.

NHS Providers have asked the Government to use its Autumn Statement on 23 November to deliver extra funding beyond hospitals and into the areas of greatest need.

In a submission to the Treasury, NHS Providers says funding should be targeted at supporting GPs to plug capacity gaps and manage demand more effectively in primary care to reduce referrals to more expensive hospital-based care.

It says: “Primary care is under huge pressure and is unable to cope with the level of demand it is experiencing, meaning that significant numbers of patients who could and should be dealt with out of hospital are attending A&E departments.”

At the end of last year only four out of 138 large A&E departments were meeting the required four-hour standard and, on any given day, up to 6,800 beds in hospitals are occupied by patients who are medically fit to leave hospital but cannot leave due to a lack of available services in the community and social care.

The cost of these delays to NHS trusts is estimated to be around £820 million per year.

The proposals emphasise how measures to improve services outside hospitals can have a profound affect on the acute sector’s ability to provide the best care for their local communities.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said: “There is now a clear gap between what the NHS is being asked to deliver and the funding available. NHS trusts are working flat out to develop new and better ways of delivering patient care, but they urgently need targeted extra investment in the areas of greatest need.

“Investing in general practice and social care, as well as stopping the raids on capital spending to ensure our hospitals and other buildings are fit for purpose, must be an urgent priority.

“This would help GPs and care services to ease the rising pressure on hospital, ambulance, community and mental health trusts, which in turn would improve the quality of care people receive.

He added: “The investment must be accompanied by a rethink of plans for this parliament. Providers will do all they can to improve productivity, realise efficiencies and move to new ways of providing care.

“But over the next three years demand and cost will rise by at least 4% a year whilst real terms health funding per head is flat or actually reduces. We therefore have to decide what the NHS should prioritise. The NHS simply cannot do all that it is currently doing and is being asked to do in future on these funding levels.” 

Twitter
LinkedIn