A Committee of Public Accounts report has praised substantial progress by CQC in improving monitoring, inspection and regulation of hospitals, care homes, general practices and other services. A response from CQC chief executive David Behan appears in full on the CQC website.
As NICE considers lowering the current threshold for a diagnosis of hypertension, the Royal College of General Practitioners has warned of the dangers of overdiagnosis and unnecessary prescribing.
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "High blood pressure, or hypertension, already affects a very large number of patients in the UK. Lowering the threshold for making the diagnosis of any condition is a significant decision that will affect thousands, if not millions of patients, and must not be taken lightly.
"One concern GPs already have is overdiagnosis - where we are giving a label to a situation thereby medicalising it, and prescribing medications when the benefits to the individual patient may be very limited. This can be harmful for patients both in terms of causing unnecessary anxiety, and in terms of taking medication that they might not need.
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.