Further £21m allocated for services set to move 200 GPs into hospitals

The government has named 27 hospitals in England that will receive a share of £21m to support new triage, streaming and co-located GP services alongside their emergency departments.

Seventy hospital trusts were given £56m in April under as part of the same £100m programme first announced by the chancellor in the March budget.

The news comes as GPonline revealed that more than 200 extra GPs could be required to staff the programme demanded by ministers and NHS England by this winter to divert minor cases away from A&E and reduce pressure on emergency services.

Speaking to the NHS Confederation conference in Liverpool Mr Hunt said that all of the £100m capital funding should be allocated this summer so that changes could be made before the winter.

GPonline’s investigation revealed that most trusts allocated funding in the first wave intend to use it to pay for premises alterations or development.

NHS investment

Plans include building new facilities such as consultation rooms and reception areas. Some hospitals also plan to invest in new IT systems to support the services.

GP leaders said the £100m would be better spent in existing GP services. GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey told GPonline: ‘Rather than spending £100m on taking GPs out of the community and setting up a service that will simply attract even more patients to unnecessarily attend A&E the government should be investing in general practice where that much needed additional funding could be far better spent.’

Mr Hunt said: ‘The NHS prepares well in advance for winter each year, but despite the hard work and dedication of staff, demand on services continues to increase as a result of our ageing population.

‘This vital investment will help hospitals change the way they assess and see patients so people are given the most appropriate medical care as quickly as possible.’

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