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Nearly 300 GP schemes to get investment boost

Simon Stevens says new IT and premises upgrades will improve and expand services

Mark Gould

Friday, 04 November 2016

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has today announced a list of nearly 300 GP schemes earmarked for investment over the next 12 months that will provide new IT and premises. The announcement follows 560 schemes around the country that have already been completed with patients and staff already benefitting from new facilities. Another 316 schemes are also close to completion.

The improvements are being financed by the NHS England Estates and Technology Transformation Fund, a multi-million-pound investment boost to improve premises and IT infrastructure and expand the range of services for patients.

In June 2016, local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) submitted recommendations to NHS England for investment from in the fund. Investment will be used across a range of GP premises and technology schemes, in line with CCG estates and digital plans. Further schemes are planned for future years.

Speaking yesterday at the annual conference of NHS Clinical Commissioners, Simon Stevens said: “Today marks the next instalment of our practical action to strengthen GP services, in this case by providing modern buildings in which a wider range of local care can be offered to patients across England.”

NHS England has also published new guidance outlining the tests that will be applied to CCGs submitting proposals to merge or combine their managements to support implementation of local Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP).

The guidance makes clear that there remains a general presumption against mergers unless they can be shown to release staff and resource to support local STP implementation while further cutting administrative costs.

The new guidance provides CCGs thinking about different ways of working across boundaries with clarity about the tests NHS England will apply when considering applications to do so. It includes a list of 11 separate criteria that CCGs will have to meet for formal merger, as well as prior approval for merger of senior management.

Dr Amanda Doyle, NHS Clinical Commissioners co-chair and Chief Clinical Officer, NHS Blackpool CCG said: “Our members will welcome this move where it is in the best interests of local populations and enables the system to work in a better, more collaborative way.”

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