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Funding increase of 4% annually for primary care

17 December 2015

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Primary care will receive a minimum 4% funding increase every year for five years, and the primary medical care allocation formula will be updated, NHS England has announced today.

Spending on GPs and primary medical care will grow at a ‘disproportionately’ higher rate than other health services.

“Disproportionately higher funding increases will be available for GP services and primary medical care than for overall CCG growth, with the ability for CCGs to make further investments on top of this using the co-commissioning option,” the statement reads.

In 2016/17 NHS England proposes an allocation of £7,652 million for primary care (a 4.2% increase from the previous year), £7,958 million in 2017/18, £8,317 million for 2018/19, £8,716 million for 2019/20 and £9,188 million for 2020/21.

Moreover, the primary medical care allocation formula will be “updated to account for changes in GP workload since the original ‘Carr Hill’ methodology was developed over a decade ago,” NHS England confirmed.

Every CCG will get a real terms budget increase, but the allocations will be adjusted so that the parts of the country with the greatest health needs, “where the population is growing rapidly, and where there are additional and historic pressures because of rurality” will be given greater funding. 

The NHS Mandate was also released today, and has been applauded for it’s multi-year focus, by the NHS Confederation.

Rob Webster, their chief executive, said: “The NHS Mandate seeks a welcome balance between providing high level strategic direction while giving local NHS organisations the flexibility to decide how best to deliver care to their local population. The multi-year basis of the Mandate is vital. If we are to tackle the big challenges facing the NHS then we need to focus on long-term solutions, not short-term fixes.”

It is expected that clarity on where the CCGs need to focus – prevention or immediate issues – and details of how CCGs will be judged, will be revealed in the planning guidelines which are due to be released tomorrow. Individual CCGs will be notified of their resulting allocations in early January.