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Where are health Inequalities, Communities and the Voluntary Sector in the NHS England General Practice Forward View?

GP Forward View

The General Practice Forward View is an important document, it sets out how NHS England proposes to support the development of general practice through to 2020/21. It is therefore important for all of those working in primary care and communities to understand the opportunities it presents and how it to access them.

Health Inequalities and Communities

As the graph above shows it was disappointing to see that with the exception of social prescribing there appears to be little recognition given to the context within which General Practice works. So, there is little mention of inequalities and of deprivation and indeed of the voluntary sector.

This is concerning. In Sheffield we have started an exciting piece of work with practices who serve the poorest parts of the city. We recently invited Professor Graham Watt down from the Glasgow Deep End Group. Their work as is shown by the graph below (Scottish data) shows that practices serving the poorest communities are likely to receive less funding yet face much greater demands than practices serving wealthier areas.

Nonetheless the GP Forward View does present opportunities – not least because there are a range of commitments including one to revisit the GP funding formula to better reflect deprivation and rurality as well as a promise of more funding (£2.4bn more by 2020/1).

There are a number of levers for us to use – they include influencing the development of the Sustainability and Transformation Plans which will include £508m over the next five years to strengthen practice resilience (£56m), grow the medical and non medical workforce (£206m) and support practice redesign (£246m) and a development programme for practices (£30m). Similarly it will be important to ensure that CCG commissioning strategies for primary care include clear actions with regard to health inequalities and the role of the voluntary and community sector.

Here are three suggested actions.

What do you think?

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