NHS England and NHS Improvement have published details on how the extra funding announced in the General Practice Forward View will be used to help transform services. They appear in Delivering the Forward View: NHS Operational Planning Guidance for 2017/18 and 2018/19.
On top of planned increases to primary medical care allocations for general practice, the guidance confirms that there will also be further local recurrent funding to improve and increase capacity in general practice, totalling £138m by 2017/18 and increasing to £258m by 2018/19. This will contribute to the overall ambition of investing an extra £2.4 billion in general practice services by 2020/21.
In 2016/17, this funding is being made available to the General Practice Access Fund pilot schemes (formerly the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund) and a number of additional areas across the country which will accelerate delivery of improving GP access in 2017/18. This will also enable London to begin a capital wide programme of improving access from 2016/17.
The number of NHS providers showing a financial deficit fell by 20% during the first quarter of 2016/17. The provider sector is reporting an overall deficit of £461 million this quarter, £5 million better than planned, says NHS Improvement.
The Department of Health has launched a mental health check for those adversely affected by the 2015 and 2016 attacks in Paris and Brussels, including those present and their close family members. Screening questionnaires are being issued and responses will be reviewed by Public Health England with those needing support being referred for clinical assessment. Commissioners are asked to ensure GP member practices are aware of the scheme. GPs should refer to clinical guidelines when contacted by patients with questions about their mental health or this programme.