NHS England sets out funding for GP infrastructure, indemnity and mental health

Nearly 300 GP practices will receive premises or technology investment this year as part of a plan to invest £900m in general practice infrastructure by 2020/21, NHS England has announced.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens
NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens told the National Association of Primary Care in Birmingham on Wednesday that 300 schemes would receive support this year 'subject to passing a set of due diligence checks'.

Mr Stevens also set out plans to invest £11m this year in expanding psychological therapies to support patients with long-term conditions, and a £5m winter indemnity scheme to subsidise costs for GPs working in out-of-hours and 111 services.

The first schemes to receive funding in 2016/17 will be in the Midlands and East of England, NHS England said. Practices that have applied for funding will receive final confirmation on whether their bids have been approved by the end of October.

NHS England said that 560 schemes supported by money from the Estates and Technology Transformation Fund have been completed to data and a further 316 schemes are underway. Officials have said they expect to deliver around £900m in capital funding through the transformation fund and other schemes by 2020/21.

GP indemnity costs

A total of £11m will be invested to expand psychological therapies in primary care to support patients with long-term conditions in 2016/17, with a further £24m to follow in 2017/18, Mr Stevens said today.

The funding will pay for the development of 22 psychological therapy schemes across 30 CCG areas, some of which are expected to begin seeing patients within the next three months, as part of plans to deliver an extra 3,000 mental health therapists in GP practices.

The schemes will aim to support patients with long-term conditions such as COPD and diabetes cope with anxiety or depression.

NHS England will also put £5m towards a repeat of the winter indemnity scheme it ran last year to encourage GPs to work in out-of-hours care by subsidising the cost of indemnity.

GPs working in out-of-hours or other unscheduled care services such as 111 during winter will be able to apply for help with costs associated with taking on extra shifts under the scheme, which will run until March 2017.

Mr Stevens said: 'The NHS needs strong primary care services and today we're taking further practical action to provide GPs with modern surgeries to work from, expanded staff to offer their patients a wider range of mental health care, and better support for GPs who look after patients at evenings and weekends. We meant it when we said GP services are the bedrock of the NHS, and we're backing that commitment with concrete action to deliver the GP Forward View.'

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