“General practice provides over 300 million patient consultations each year, compared to 23 million A&E visits…if general practice fails, the NHS fails”
So the Five Year Forward View (FYFV) next steps for primary care acknowledges the importance that primary care has to play in the reshaping and integration of health and social care across the country.
The key improvements for the next two years identified in the Review include:
• Boosting GP numbers: an extra 5,000 doctors working in general practice by 2020 (with numbers entering GP training up 10% since 2015 and a commitment to reach 3,250 trainees per year);
• Extended and more convenient patient access to GP services: making available bookable evening and weekend appointments to extend to 100% of the country by March 2019; practice profiles will be published on ease of making an appointment – and from October 2017, practices who shut for half days each week will not be eligible for a share of the extended access scheme;
• Expanding multidisciplinary primary care: This will see:
– an increase in the number of clinical pharmacists working in GP surgeries to over 900 by March 2018 and over 1,300 by March 2019;
– the placement of 800 mental health therapists in primary care by March 2017, rising to over 1,500 by March 2018.
– an increase in the training of physician associates to incentivise up to 1,000 of these staff to work in General Practice.
• Modernisation of primary care premises: over 800 further infrastructure projects are identified for investment by 2019.
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