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Fund to enable greater GP access

8 April 2015

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The Department of Health has dedicated £550 million to improving access to family doctors, modernising surgeries and improving out-of-hospital care.

The funding comes from three pre-existing pots of cash – the Prime Ministers Challenge fund, the Infrastructure fund and the Transformation fund.

A further £100 million will be added to the Prime Minister’s Challenge fund, to support 1,417 practices across the country to increase access.

This follows the success of an initial £50 million fund, covering more than 1,100 practices which helped reduce A&E attendances, and relieve pressure on GP surgeries.

The £250 million infrastructure fund, originally announced in the Autumn Statement, will enable more than 1,000 practices to build new integrated health centres, make better use of technology and create more space to offer more appointments.

The infrastructure fund will also pay for a £10 million GP workforce plan which helps set a clear direction for the future of general practice.

The £200 million Transformation fund, also announced in the Autumn Statement, will support the 29 vanguard pilots, announced in March by NHS England.

The vanguards, which include Hampshire and Farnham CCG and Dudley CCG, are aiming to implement new models of care which integrate services offered by hospitals, GPs, and care homes.

It is hoped the funds will result in 18 million people being offered more evening and weekend, video, email and telephone consultations by March 2016.

And that a further 8.5 million people will see redevelopment of their existing practices, to increase clinical space and offer additional services.