Primary care needs to meet an increasing and growing range and complexity of health needs. At the same time there is a pending workforce crisis, with a large proportion of London GPs nearing retirement age and practice nurses becoming increasingly difficult to recruit. GPs are also reporting the highest levels of stress since the national GP survey began in 1998.
The General Practice Forward View, published in April 2016, sets out a plan, backed by a multi-billion pound investment, to stabilise and transform general practice. It has been developed with Health Education England and in discussion with the Royal College of GPs and other GP representatives.
It commits to an extra £2.4 billion a year to support general practice services by 2020/21. This means spending will rise from £9.6 billion in 2015/16 to over £12 billion by 2021 – a 14% real-term increase. This investment will be supplemented by a one off five-year £500 million national sustainability and transformation package to support GP practices, and includes additional funds from local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).