The Department of Health has told NHS England that it expects to see at least 50% of the English population being served by the new GP care model by 2020. The model will see single organisations providing primary and secondary care:
- Ensuring that all patients have access to weekend and evening routine GP appointments.
- Delivering ‘a measurable reduction’ in emergency admissions and emergency in-patient bed days by 2020.
- Significantly reducing age-standardised emergency admission rates and emergency inpatient bed-day rates.
- Making significant, measurable progress in health and social care integration, urgent and emergency care (including ensuring a single point of contact), and electronic health record sharing.
These plans are in line with NHS England’s Five Year Forward View, published in 2014. The document covers primary and secondary care, step-down services, home care, counselling, dentistry and community services.
In addition they expect to see:
- All GP patients in England being given access to weekend and evening routine appointments.
- The publication of practice-level metrics. On access to, and the quality of, GP services.
- No patient left waiting for more than 28 days for cancer diagnosis.
- An increase in the number of patients diagnosed with dementia within 6 weeks of their initial referral.
- 5,000 extra doctors in general practice.
- A reduction in childhood obesity.
- A new range of ‘Ofsted-style’ CCG level indicators, which include clinical outcomes.
- Development of the new voluntary contract for GPs (Multidisciplinary Community Provider contract) for implementation in 2017-18.
- The public was mainly concerned with:
- The extent of private sector involvement in NHS services.
- The practicalities of plans to offer 7-day services safely.
The Department of Health sought to reassure the public, reiterating that it plans to increase the primary and community care workforce by 10,000 by 2020, ‘including an additional 5,000 doctors working in general practice’.