Seven-day GP service for 2.8m patients in Manchester devolution plan

Seven-day GP services will be rolled out across the whole of Greater Manchester by the end of 2015 after a pilot scheme was found to reduce A&E attendances by up to 8%.

Dr Hamish Stedman: New models of care bring flexibility (Photo: UNP/Haymarket)
Dr Hamish Stedman: New models of care bring flexibility (Photo: UNP/Haymarket)

The scheme will be extended to cover 2.8m people as part of the region’s devolution and integration of health and care services involving NHS England, 12 CCGs, 15 NHS providers and 10 local authorities.

Existing seven-day access schemes already serve 500,000 people across the city. Another 1.1m people were already planned to be covered through an £8m scheme set up under the prime minister's Challenge Fund.

Greater Manchester demonstrator sites that trialled seven-day access in Manchester, Bury, Heywood and Middleton showed a 3% reduction in total A&E activity compared with the rest of Greater Manchester.

GP out-of-hours pressure eased

Central Manchester’s scheme showed an 8% reduction in minor A&E attendance, equal to a saving of £425,000. Bury’s scheme showed a 38% reduction in GP out-of-hours use and improved patient satisfaction.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said the plans showed how devolution could produce ‘tangible gains for patients’.

Salford CCG chairman Dr Hamish Stedman said: ‘Doctors want the best health outcomes possible for patients. New ways of working can bring flexibility and choice to both patients and primary care clinicians, so that we can make the best use of time, resources and expertise.’

Seven-day NHS

Chief officer for Greater Manchester health and social care devolution, Ian Williamson, said: ‘Devolution hasn’t created these new seven-day systems of working – but it can help to propel those results quicker across Greater Manchester, through a cemented regional partnership, increased freedoms and flexibilities to make local decisions – and less bureaucratic impediments.’

LMC leaders at last month’s annual conference passed policy deploring the failure to consult with local GP leaders over the Manchester devolution plans. LMCs demanded assurances that existing provider and contracts are protected under devolution and charged GPC with ensuring existing funding is protected.

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