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General practice gets funding for infrastructure, mental health services and indemnity

300 practices targeted will receive investment in premises or technology this year

Ingrid Torjesen

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Nearly 300 GP practices are set to receive premises or technology investment this year to improve and expand out-of-hospital care for patients, a key commitment set out in the General Practice Forward View, NHS England has announced.

The first set of the 300 schemes in line for support from the NHS England's Estates and Technology Transformation Fund this year have been named; they are all located in the Midlands and the East. Other schemes across the country will be set out from the end of October. 

These follow 560 schemes that have already been completed and 316 schemes that are in the process.

The announcement was made by NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens at the National Association of Primary Care Annual Conference in Birmingham, yesterday.

Mr Stevens also set out plans to invest £11 million this year and £24 million in 2017/18 in expanding psychological therapies to support patients with long-term conditions, including diabetes or COPD. The investment will fund 22 different psychological therapies schemes in 30 clinical commissioning groups, some of which will be up and running within three months, as part of plans to deliver an extra 3,000 mental health therapists in GP practices. 

A £5 million scheme to support GPs with indemnity costs for working in GP out-of-hours services and unscheduled care services including NHS 111 to boost services during the busy winter period was also unveiled. The scheme will cover the costs of personal professional indemnity for GPs wishing to undertake additional out-of-hours work up until March 2017, to give them the freedom to work sessions without having to pay additional indemnity costs.

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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