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Essex County Council welcomes extra money for GP services

22 April 2016

Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health has welcomed NHS England’s newly announced transformation plan.

GP practice will be given an extra £2.4 billion a year by 2020/21, Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England announced today.

The plan is designed to get general practice back on its feet, improve patient care and access and invest in new ways of providing primary care.

There will also be specific, practical and funded steps to strengthen the workforce, drive efficiencies in workload, modernise infrastructure and technology, and redesign the way modern primary care is offered to patients.

Essex is currently seeing a decline in the number of GPs while the population continues to grow. The ratio of GPs to patients in Essex is around 1,900 patients to every GP, compared to the national ratio of 1,700 patients to every GP.

Cllr Graham Butland, Cabinet Member for Health, said:
“I welcome these plans as a significant step forward to acknowledging the importance of benefitting patients, GPs and the wider healthcare system.

“By 2021, under current forecasts, Essex could see 2,100 patients to every GP, so it is important we see a fair share of the 5,000 new GPs outlined in the plan.

“There has been an historic underfunding of general practice and the pressures GPs are facing continue to grow. This plan will support struggling practices and the GP workforce, acting as a significant step forward for general practice, as well as keeping our health service sustainable and our patients safe.

“Essex County Council’s current work with partners to integrate health and social care will also feed into these priorities. We are committed to GPs and social care working more closely together, and with our communities, to reduce pressures across the health and care system.”