The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades (Timbuk 3)

30th August 2016

Pulse, “The Good News Issue”, who would have thought!!

Earlier this year the NHSE released the GP Forward View (GPFV). There were some headline grabbing announcements such as the 2.4 billion to be invested into primary care by the end of 2021 and an increased workforce including pharmacists, GPs and mental health workers. Our local LMC with their helpful summary rightly questioned some of the statements made in the GP FV, particularly about the re-badging of some already promised monies and targets e.g. the 5000 extra GPs; now extra doctors.

However it does represent a significant investment into primary care, although it does come three years after the original five year forward view when that investment was promised. In that time pressure on general practice has increased dramatically and we are aware that in other areas of the country, practices are folding under it. The challenge will be in ensuring that the funding that is allotted flows down to practices to allow them to make the innovative changes that will be possible. For primary care now it is not just about the money but it is about having the workforce to deliver the service and a large question mark remains over that.

I recently attended a meeting with the national team including Robert Varnham in Cambridge to talk about the GP Forward View.

The GP Development Programme ( does have practical useful tips and actions from other practices at how we can release particularly GP time and some support for reception/clerical staff, online consultations, practice managers and leader development. The GP Federation should be able to access some of this funding directly if appropriate and we will be looking at how that may help. It was also encouraging to hear that they were aware of problems regarding indemnity, particularly how it relates to new models of care, which clearly the defence unions have not kept up. There is clearly a push for primary care to be working at scale and a move towards Multi-Specialist Community Providers (MCP’s) and we will be looking at how we can make best access of that funding, as it is something as a Federation we have been looking at doing for some time.

So, in summary, the future may be bright(er) but I might just leave the shades in the case for the time being.