Dr Arvind Madan, director of primary care, NHS England, revealed the progress that have been made since the General Practice Forward View (GPFV) was launched 18 months ago.
Speaking at the Management in Practice conference at Olympia, London, on 28 September 2017, he said: ‘Primary care is on the top of the NHS agenda. With the GPFV, we can have a vision over the next few years on the problems we need to fix to enhance the future patient’s experience.
‘We’re operating in a challenging environment but a number of things are happening towards the GPFV trajectory.
Some of the progresses achieved over the past months include the introduction of 20 mental health pilots and the recruitment of 400 Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) therapists in primary care.
Dr Madan also announced that the GP headcount was going up, with GP training centres increasing to 3,250 a year.
‘Even if two third of our GPs aged 50 years old and over are leaving the profession, we have more GPs in training than ever before.’
The biggest change made to the GPFV is the plan to recruit between 2000 and 3000 overseas GP, which was originally set at 500.
More than half of the workforce target, which aims to recruit 5000 he3althcare professionals, has already been exceeded.
The Time for Care programme, which includes £30 million for the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), is the biggest GP programme of the GPFV. It aims to tackle the 15-16 million unattended appointments to release time for care, among others.
‘The GPFV is a good start to addressing a decade of underfunding an NHS with an acute sector bias, but we need to keep building on it together if we are to optimise the role general practice plays in the future, said Dr Madan.’