General Practitioners: Disadvantaged

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 29th November 2021.

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Photo of Gill Furniss Gill Furniss Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support GP practices in the most deprived areas.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We have invested £250 million in the Winter Access Fund to expand capacity in general practice, in addition to £1.5 billion provided to the sector until 2023/24. Access to the Winter Access Fund is dependent on local systems demonstrating value including the scale of increased capacity and expected impact. A maximum indicative amount will be calculated on the clinical commissioning group primary care weighted capitation formula, which takes account of deprivation.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Access Improvement Programme is supporting practices whose patients are experiencing the greatest challenges in providing good access to patients. NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently supporting over 900 practices to design and deliver tailored support packages. In October 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement introduced a new service specification and Impact and Investment Fund incentives for Primary Care Networks (PCNs) on ‘Tackling neighbourhood health inequalities’. As part of the new specification, PCNs must identify and engage populations experiencing health inequalities within their area and co-design an intervention to address unmet needs.

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