£2.9m cash boost for GPs in Richmondshire, Hambleton, Whitby and Darlington to improve patient care

The Northern Echo: Dr Jenny Steel 'delighted Darlington was selected' Dr Jenny Steel 'delighted Darlington was selected'

FAMILY doctors in the region have been given an extra £2.9m to make it easier to see a GP as part of a move to ease the pressure on hard-pressed hospital A&E departments.

Twenty-two GP practices in Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby and another 10 in Darlington will use the cash to extend weekend opening hours, make appointments easier to book during the week  and set up a specialised team to help care for frail, elderly patients in their own homes.

The allocation is part of the £50m Prime Minister's Challenge Fund - with the successful North Yorkshire and Darlington bids accounting for two out of the seven successful pilot schemes across the North of England.

In Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby its £2.4m allocation will pay for the 'Together as One Community' trial which will see GP surgeries staying open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.

There will also be a new focus on preventative care, involving community-based teams bringing together GPs, the community hospital, pharmacists and nurses with improved IT support.

For those North Yorkshire patients in rural areas it will reduce the need to travel long distances for health care, with specialists using video technology to offer 'virtual' appointments at the patient's local surgery.

In Darlington the £448,400 allocation will allow GP surgeries taking part in the 'Caring for Darlington Beyond Tomorrow' pilot scheme to  offer patients greater flexibility on booking appointments at selected practices on weekdays - and from 8am to 6.30pm at weekends.

It will also pay for a new multi-disciplinary team of GPs, nursing and social care staff to provide extra support for frail, older patients to provide care closer to home and prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.

However, Trevor Johnston, regional spokesman on health for Unison, said:  "What the Government is putting into primary care is just a drop in the ocean compared with what is really needed to ease  the pressure on our hospitals. This is gesture politics of the worst kind.

"The idea of GPs having to bid against each other to get this money is horrible and what about all the areas in the North-East which are not getting a penny for longer opening hours?"

But Dr Giles Horner, from Egton Surgery on the North Yorkshire Moors,  said: "We are delighted to have been awarded the Prime Minister's Challenge Fund and believe it will make a huge difference to healthcare in our local communities.

“As a group of practices, we have a strong history of working together to address local challenges. We share the same values and have the same aspirations to improve services together for our population.

"The challenges of our rural area have made working together across practices an obvious solution for some time.

"This programme is our chance to deliver transformational change across the three localities of Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby.

"It will deliver a new model of integrated primary, community and social care, providing a sustainable model for rural healthcare that will vastly improve the services that our patients receive."

Bid leader, Dr Jenny Steel, from Blacketts Medical Practice in Darlington, said: "We are absolutely delighted and shocked that Darlington has been identified as a national pilot and that they saw the value in what we are trying to achieve.

"Darlington is a small town and often gets overlooked so it's nice to be able to do something that focuses on the needs of our population with the GPs of the town who are in the best place to serve patients."

Mike Bewick, NHS England's Deputy Medical Director, said: "We were very pleased so many practices came together to look at delivering innovative services at scale and we will await the outcomes of the pilot schemes eagerly.

"This fund is about helping those people who struggle to find a GP appointment to fit in with family and work life. We need to create an environment that enables GPs to play a much stronger role, as part of a more integrated system of out-of-hospital care."

In October 2013, the Prime Minister announced the £50m Challenge Fund to improve access to general practice and NHS England was asked to lead on the selection and management of the pilot schemes which will include 1,147 GP practices across England.

David Cameron said: “Back in October, I said I wanted to make it easier for people to get appointments that fit in around a busy working week and family commitments.

"There has been a great response from doctors, with lots of innovative ideas, and we will now see over seven million patients given weekend and evening opening hours, alongside more access to their family doctor on the phone, via email or even Skype."

It was originally thought that around half a million people would benefit from the cash pot across England but due to high levels of interest it has been rolled out to cover more GP services, a Department of Health spokesman said.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: "By freeing up hard working family doctors to spend more time with their sickest patients, and by making it easier for other patients to get through to their GP surgery for help and advice at evenings and weekends, these initiatives have the potential to be a win-win-win for patients, their doctors and the NHS."

Dr Chaand Nagpul, chair of the British Medical Association's General Practice Committee, said: "These changes will need to be properly supported.

"The Government must take further action so that community, social and urgent care work in tandem to deliver truly holistic care to patients.

"Ministers must also deliver on their commitment to increase resources in the community so that there are more GPs, nurses and other health and social care services to provide co-ordinated care to the escalating number of patients who need care closer to home."

"This will enable GPs to be properly supported and have the time and ability to deliver the personalised care that patients deserve."

Dr Vicky Pleydell, Clinical Chief Officer, NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG, said: “On behalf of the CCG, I’d like to congratulate our local GPs on being awarded the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund.

“This is fantastic news for local people and a great opportunity to transform our healthcare system and deliver real benefits for our patients.

“The project is very much in line with the CCG’s aim of providing as much care as close to home as possible. We are looking forward to supporting the GPs throughout the next twelve months and seeing the Together as One Community project come to life.”

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:18pm Mon 14 Apr 14

David Lacey says...

Curse the stupid Government for ring fencing NHS spending when Labour voted to cut it. And now they have the cheek to unravel the crazy GP contracts that Labour dished out. They can expect to be given a hard time by the usual crew of lefties who prefer that the NHS is destroyed as their Labour friends in Wales have succeeded in doing.
Curse the stupid Government for ring fencing NHS spending when Labour voted to cut it. And now they have the cheek to unravel the crazy GP contracts that Labour dished out. They can expect to be given a hard time by the usual crew of lefties who prefer that the NHS is destroyed as their Labour friends in Wales have succeeded in doing. David Lacey
  • Score: -7

4:55pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Homshaw1 says...

I think a lot of the problems in the NHS go back to GP fundholding and the Purchaser/Provider split, The NHS was taken over by managers and accountants who had limited support from clinicans. Sucessive goverments threw more money at it and the new breed of manager said "We'll take care of that fhat for you". The politicans could rightly claim they were spending more on health but it did little to improve proformance

The NHS is the same as local government - still too much waste and too many dodgy job titles
I think a lot of the problems in the NHS go back to GP fundholding and the Purchaser/Provider split, The NHS was taken over by managers and accountants who had limited support from clinicans. Sucessive goverments threw more money at it and the new breed of manager said "We'll take care of that fhat for you". The politicans could rightly claim they were spending more on health but it did little to improve proformance The NHS is the same as local government - still too much waste and too many dodgy job titles Homshaw1
  • Score: 6

5:25pm Mon 14 Apr 14

stevegg says...

Lets get real here; how many doctors are willing to work weekends, late nights & early mornings - a tiny minority, the will just isnt there for the vast majority. The best most surgeries will get is one late night a week and one early morning a week, forget weekends altogether, they just wont do it. A significant number of GP's (& like it or not, mainly feamle GP's) only work family friendly hours and/or part time hours as it is. Labours ludicrously one sided contracts circa 2005 in favour of GP's where they got an almost double payrise with reduced hours & opting out of out of hours care has proven to be a disaster for patients when the then government naively believed that most GP's would actually care about their patients and opt in never happenned. Even the General medical council last year stated they couldnt believe how generous the terms offered were.
Theres no going back now as far as GP's are concerned.
Lets get real here; how many doctors are willing to work weekends, late nights & early mornings - a tiny minority, the will just isnt there for the vast majority. The best most surgeries will get is one late night a week and one early morning a week, forget weekends altogether, they just wont do it. A significant number of GP's (& like it or not, mainly feamle GP's) only work family friendly hours and/or part time hours as it is. Labours ludicrously one sided contracts circa 2005 in favour of GP's where they got an almost double payrise with reduced hours & opting out of out of hours care has proven to be a disaster for patients when the then government naively believed that most GP's would actually care about their patients and opt in never happenned. Even the General medical council last year stated they couldnt believe how generous the terms offered were. Theres no going back now as far as GP's are concerned. stevegg
  • Score: 9

7:01pm Mon 14 Apr 14

oliviaden6 says...

The NHS has to MANY CHIEF'S AND NOT ENOUGH INDIANS, thin out the management and make them EARN thier cash on a product rated scheme and we the public and the NHS will be all the better for it. Every Tom Dick and Harry from around the world use the NHS to the depriment to those who have paid thier dues, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
The NHS has to MANY CHIEF'S AND NOT ENOUGH INDIANS, thin out the management and make them EARN thier cash on a product rated scheme and we the public and the NHS will be all the better for it. Every Tom Dick and Harry from around the world use the NHS to the depriment to those who have paid thier dues, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH oliviaden6
  • Score: 3

8:00pm Mon 14 Apr 14

darloboss says...

crazy lacey at his best again
crazy lacey at his best again darloboss
  • Score: 4

8:36pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Border Terrier says...

stevegg wrote:
Lets get real here; how many doctors are willing to work weekends, late nights & early mornings - a tiny minority, the will just isnt there for the vast majority. The best most surgeries will get is one late night a week and one early morning a week, forget weekends altogether, they just wont do it. A significant number of GP's (& like it or not, mainly feamle GP's) only work family friendly hours and/or part time hours as it is. Labours ludicrously one sided contracts circa 2005 in favour of GP's where they got an almost double payrise with reduced hours & opting out of out of hours care has proven to be a disaster for patients when the then government naively believed that most GP's would actually care about their patients and opt in never happenned. Even the General medical council last year stated they couldnt believe how generous the terms offered were.
Theres no going back now as far as GP's are concerned.
"Very Strange" " But unfortunately Very True!
[quote][p][bold]stevegg[/bold] wrote: Lets get real here; how many doctors are willing to work weekends, late nights & early mornings - a tiny minority, the will just isnt there for the vast majority. The best most surgeries will get is one late night a week and one early morning a week, forget weekends altogether, they just wont do it. A significant number of GP's (& like it or not, mainly feamle GP's) only work family friendly hours and/or part time hours as it is. Labours ludicrously one sided contracts circa 2005 in favour of GP's where they got an almost double payrise with reduced hours & opting out of out of hours care has proven to be a disaster for patients when the then government naively believed that most GP's would actually care about their patients and opt in never happenned. Even the General medical council last year stated they couldnt believe how generous the terms offered were. Theres no going back now as far as GP's are concerned.[/p][/quote]"Very Strange" " But unfortunately Very True! Border Terrier
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree