Exclusive: RCGP to commission report on delivery of GP Forward View promises

The RCGP will commission a progress report to determine whether NHS England pledges set out in the GP Forward View are being delivered, the college's new chair has revealed.

RCGP chair Dr Helen-Stokes Lampard
RCGP chair Dr Helen-Stokes Lampard

A senior college figure is likely to be handed the task of assessing progress on targets in the plan, which pledged to increase the overall share of NHS funding spent on general practice to at least 10% by 2020/21.

In an exclusive interview with GPonline to mark the start of her three-year tenure as RCGP chair, Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard said: 'At my first council meeting I am going to be seeking a mandate from council to conduct an interim review of progress against targets set out in the GP Forward View.

'It’ll be looking at the promises that were made, how delivery is going against the timelines - for NHS England and Health Education England. Where we are highlighting isuses that are more contractual we will be passing that over to the BMA, and where there are issues for us to pursue we will do that.'

Interview: GPs must accept change is inevitable

On Saturday, the council approved the plans, which Dr Stokes-Lampard would mean a 'review of where we are at' that would involve publishing something like traffic light ratings on key targets set out by NHS England.

GPonline reported last month that six months on from the 21 April launch of the GP Forward View, GP leaders were demanding faster support for the profession, warning that help was falling short of what had been promised.

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul has warned that practice closures are at record levels, and a GPonline poll this month revealed that practices serving as many as 5m patients could face closure because of financial problems over the next 12 months.

The RCGP progress report - to be published a year on from the release of the GP Forward View - is likely to consider whether funding from the NHS centrally and from local CCGs is reaching the front line, and to look at whether plans to reduce the burden of CQC inspections and provide support for fees is being delivered, as well as targets around the GP workforce.

GP funding

Dr Stokes-Lampard said she was determined that the report should deliver an accurate picture of progress against the targets, despite the college's efforts to work contructively with the government and NHS England on delivery of support for the profession.

'It is always a difficult balance - we have welcomed the promises, we are trying to hold feet to the fire, trying to hold people to account to ensure delivery,' she said.

'But if people are cynical we need to know about it. If people have hard facts and evidence, we want to know. We want our members to be feeding in. We have got the faculty network, we have ambassadors out there trying to establish the truth.

'I don’t want the smell of fresh paint - I want the truth. I’m a real GP and in my practice I can see and feel what it’s like on the front line. So if people think they are hearing one thing and feeling another, we want to know.'

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