What’s Next For The GP Forward View?
By now, most of us are aware of the GP Forward View, but not all of us are familiar with its aims. Although general practice is at the heart of NHS care, most are in agreement that urgent change is needed. GPs are juggling an increasing number of patients with complex needs, and further funding is required for the long-term sustainability of our healthcare system.
Fortunately, improvements are underway, in the name of The General Practice Forward View (GP Forward View), published in April 2016. GP Forward View is a programme to support investment in primary care tackling five key areas: funding, workforce, workload, infrastructure and care redesign.
So what is the GP Forward View initiative, and what are its main aims for the future?
GP Forward View aims
GP Forward View aims to implement the following changes by 2020:
1. More national funding
By 2021, the government pledges that an extra £2.4 billion will go into general practice each year. With this extra funding, on top of the £12bn already pledged by 2020/21, the total investment in general practice will be brought up to £14.5bn – which is 11% of the total NHS budget.
Under the initiative, general practice will see a 14% increase in funding, compared with 8% for the rest of the NHS.
2. Increased GP workforce
GP Forward View aims to have at least 10,000 more staff working in general practice by 2020/21, which equates to 5,000 more doctors and 5,000 other staff such as clinical pharmacists, nurses, and physician associates. The initiative also pledges to widen roles of receptionists, expand the recruitment drive for GPs and provide more flexible work opportunities for general practitioners.
However, former health secretary Jeremy Hunt has outlined major GP recruitment problems in the face of the new initiative. Hunt has openly admitted that hitting that 5,000 GP target “has been harder than we thought”. This report came after figures from NHS Digital revealed that 1,000 FTE GPs have left general practice since the workforce target was first set.
3. Reduced GP workload
Along with a larger workforce, Forward View also aims to reduce GP workload in a number of ways. There will be an expansion of the 111 service, with more clinicians added to the out-of-hours staff, and online help available. The government is also rolling out minor ailment schemes in pharmacies and will provide more support to patients who can look after their own healthcare needs.
4. Investment in practice infrastructure
GP Forward View also aims to improve possibilities for wider team working by investing more in practice buildings and technology. The government will also try to reduce strain on general practices with a widespread adoption of online services, such as patient services and online consultations.
According to NHS England:
“This (Forward View) is designed to improve services for patients and enable a wider range of health services closer to where they live.”
5. Redesigned care
Forward View aims to strengthen and redesign general practice care by delivering extended access in primary care and offer new ways of working through training and development. The initiative also aims to open up more weekend and evening appointments that will be fully integrated with urgent care services.
Paving the way for GP Forward View
“General practice is the jewel in the crown of the NHS. We need to keep it that way,” NHS England.
All in all, the GP Forward View aims to make the NHS better for patients and better for practices. This means that general practice will become a more attractive career choice, and there will be more opportunities for GPs to work flexibly in out-of-hours roles. For the latest out-of-hours job listings and GP recruitment opportunities in East Berkshire, contact EBPCOOH Recruitment online or call us today on 03000 243 333.