The NHS Long Term Plan includes a promise of £4.5bn of ring-fenced funding for primary care and community services. Among its bolder ambitions are that integrated care systems (ICS) will cover the country within two years and that all GP practices will be members of primary care networks by this April. But as PCC’s initial analysis of the plan shows, it also raises some difficult questions about the future of CCGs, not all of which can be expected to survive in their current form and about the development of primary care networks, which need to be nurtured not imposed if the local foundations for integrated care are to be strong and stable.
The Department of Health and Social Care has published operational readiness guidance for commissioners and providers of health and social care in the event of a no deal Brexit. The guidance agreed with NHS England and NHS Improvement includes advice for CCGs.
GP practices in Luton have worked together to provide more than 3,000 extra appointments a year including halving the number of appointments lost due to patient non-attendance.
As well as freeing up appointments, the initiative has improved satisfaction with services and cut complaints by 12%. The network has also realised savings of £50,000.
NHS England has made a video highlighting the network’s achievements.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has appointed Dr Rosie Benneyworth as the new chief inspector of primary medical services and integrated care. She will take over from Professor Steve Field in early March.
Dr Benneyworth is currently director of strategic clinical services transformation for Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group and vice chair of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).