Budget 2017: £100m funding for GP triage in A&E

Budget plans unveiled by the chancellor include £100m new capital funding for GP triage systems in A&E departments as well as new money to support sustainability and transformation plans (STPs).

Philip Hammond announced £2bn of new funding over three years for social care, which he said would help ease pressure on the NHS, with £1bn available in 2017/18. 

Targetted support for struggling local authorities will be provided to help them work better with the NHS and reduce delayed transfers of care. 

The government will also publish a green paper later this year on a long-term strategy for social care funding.

The chancellor, in his first and last spring budget before the annual announcement is switched to the autumn later this year, said that he would announce a new multi-year package of capital funding to support high quality STP plans to implement the Five Year Forward View. That plan will be unveiled in the autumn budget, but for the strongest projects which are ready to go, he said, there will be £325m available now.

GP triage

Mr Hammond said £100m of capital funding would be made available to support 100 triage systems and onsite GP facilities at A&E departments in England to help reduce pressure on services and cut waiting times. The new services should be ready by next winter.

'Experience has shown that onsite GP triage in A&E departments, can have a significant and positive impact on A&E waiting times', the chancellor said. 'We are the party of the NHS,' he added.

NHS England's chief executive Simon Stevens has repeatedly called on the government to prioritise social care for any additional funding which could also help ease pressure on health services. The BMA also backed calls for more support for social care.

BMA chair Dr Mark Porter wrote to Mr Hammond last week calling for a £10.3bn increase in NHS funding to match the average spending of other leading European economies. Just £3bn would pay for 10,000 more GPs and primary care staff as well as improved premises, Dr Porter told the chancellor.

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