Community Health Partnerships’ (CHP) has welcomed NHS England’s announcement of a new £1bn Transformation Fund that will be made available to GPs for improvements to their existing surgeries and for investment in new premises.
The £250m a year fund, that will be open for bids by GPs every year for the next four years, will be made available to practices who can demonstrate that the improvements in their existing buildings will result in increased access to appointments for patients, expanded services, better use of technology and/or a reduction in emergency attendance or admission to hospital of the over-75s.
CHP Chair, John Bacon CB commented: “CHP and our LIFT Programme partners look forward to working alongside NHS England, Department of Health, NHS Property Services, Clinical Commissioning Groups and GP practices across England to support the delivery of this new fund and to ensure that its use has a real impact on GP services and the key priorities as set out in the recent NHS Five Year Forward View report."
He added: "To achieve best value from future investment in primary care - and in particular GP surgeries - will require a serious approach to locality based strategic estate planning, including planning across organisations, in order to deliver integrated, user focused services, that improve people's health and reduces demand on hospitals.
"CHPs dedicated Strategic Estates Planning expertise will help GPs and local commissioners improve and change the way that key services are delivered, with greater efficiency and to make best use of this fund.”
Since 2001, CHP and the LIFT Public Private Partnership Programme has made a significant impact on the quality of the primary and community based estate delivering over 320 schemes all maintained to a high standard for the next 25 years and focused on improving people's health and well-being.
The majority of these high-quality buildings are in our most deprived communities, offering GP services alongside a range of other primary health and community care services.
Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive commented: “Any version of a better NHS over the next five years will need stronger GP services, resourced to offer a wider range of services.
"That’s why kickstarting an upgrade in primary care infrastructure is no longer a nice-to-have but is mission-critical.”
To find out more about the Transformation Fund, please visit the NHS England Website.
We look forward to supporting the delivery of this new fund and ensuring its use has a real impact on GP services and the key priorities as set out in the recent Five Year Forward View.John Bacon CB, Community Health Partnerships Chair