CCGs in Kirklees are set to invest over £4m over the next two years to improve access to GP services. They are keen to hear patients’ opinions on where and how this money could be spent.
The move follows a commitment by the NHS to deliver a step change in the level of funding and support for GP practices in England as outlined in the ‘GP five year forward view’.
The additional funding will be used to increase the number of routine and urgent appointments, with a range of clinicians (not just GPs) between the hours of 8am and 8pm and possibly outside of these times, according to local demand. People may be able to access these appointments at their own GP practice, or at another clinical location and the CCGs are keen to hear what local patients think of this and other service development ideas.
Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Clinical Leader, NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG, welcomed the extra NHS funding, saying:
“Nine out of every ten patient contacts occur in general practice. We know that GP services are underfunded when compared to hospital care. As a local GP, I welcome the steps being taken to redress the gap. This investment will benefit patients and support the CCGs’ aim of ensuring more care is delivered closer to home. It will also help to make sure that local GP services remain resilient and sustainable over the long term.”
Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG, added:
“We know from national surveys that some patients in North Kirklees have experienced problems accessing GP appointments. The new funding means that more appointments will be available in our area. I would encourage all local people to have a say by filling in the CCG survey”.
Feedback will be used by each CCG to help them develop their plans for increasing the number of appointments within their own area to meet the needs of the local population.