General practice is facing unprecedented pressure at present.
Recent reports indicate GPs delivered over 15 million appointments in March 2022, the highest number on record. With demand skyrocketing and practice teams working tirelessly to serve the needs of patients, further support is available via the General Practice Resilience Programme (GPRP).
The programme, first launched in The General Practice Forward View, is designed to help vulnerable practices who may be struggling to cope with current workload pressures and build sustainability now and in the future.
Our short explainer has everything you need to know about the programme.
The GPRP Now
NHS England’s Primary Care SDF and GPIT Funding Guidance 2021/22 provides an update on the GPRP, detailing availability of £8.5 million nationally for the fifth year of the programme, continuing into 2023/24.
This funding will provide a range of support such as helping to stabilise practice operations or enabling transformation programmes to build future resilience. It notes how “systems will tailor this support and decide how to deliver it in view of local needs, working in conjunction with provider GPs and LMC representatives.”
Traditionally CCGs have topped up this support from local funds to ensure primary care resilience within the system.
NHS England also adds that previously published General Practice Resilience Programme Operational Guidance (last updated in 2018/19) is still applicable.
Menu of support available
In accordance with the latter, practices who wish to access funding will be offered a range of options from regional teams to build sustainability and resilience. These include:
- Rapid intervention and management support for practices at risk of closure
- Diagnostic services to quickly identify areas for improvement support
- Specialist advice and guidance – e.g., operational HR, IT, management, and finance
- Coaching/supervision/mentorship as appropriate to identified needs
- Practice management capacity support
- Coordinated support to help practices struggling with workforce issues
- Change management and improvement support to individual practices or a group of practices
Additionally, GPRP funding may also be used for local team capacity, third party suppliers, financial assistance and backfill support.
Local teams will identify and assess eligible practices. However, NHS England has outlined several criteria which may be used by local teams to structure their assessment. This is briefly summarised here.
Practices that are rated inadequate or requiring improvement by CQC may be candidates for additional support moving out of special measures. While practices where there is evidence of professional performance or leadership issues that have impacted overall operations may also be eligible. Long-term absences or vacancies within a practice can also indicate a need for programme funding.
A high number of patients per WTE GP or a closed list can point to significant workload pressures and a practice that would benefit from support. Finally, poor QOF achievement, patient survey results, prescribing performance or referral rates are all listed as additional criteria.
Please note, this is not exhaustive and full criteria along with further information can be accessed on the NHSE website here.
How to apply and funding available
Availability of funding and the amount may vary depending on the local area and CCG. Equally, the process of applying for the programme will differ by location and circumstances.
As a first port of call, practices should consider reaching out to their CCG or local medical committee to enquire as to the availability of funding and how to apply in their region.
How Livi can support you
Livi has supported many practice partners through both the Winter Access Fund and GPRP. We offer support at both a local, network and ICS level and have a track record in delivering digital clinical capacity to stretched services in areas of high demand.
Every service we deliver is based on the needs of our partners. And we offer flexible contracting models to fit the duration of service required. Whether it’s short-term support for a practice over a period of three months, or system-wide capacity over a longer period, we can help.
We supply clinical provision where and when it’s needed, at speed and at scale to ensure more patients get the care they need. While our smart technology and tools ease clinical workloads and free care teams to do what they do best.
If you would like more information on how we can support you through the GPRP, contact email@example.com.