The government has today revealed the successful bidders for the prime minister’s £50m ‘challenge fund’, a budget to increase access to GP surgeries.
The cash has been alloted to twenty pilot schemes, covering more than 1,150 practices. Seven of the pilots will extend opening hours to 8am-8pm seven days week. Two others will offer seven-day services in specially created centres.
Pilots based in North Yorkshire and Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly aim to improve access in remote areas.
NHS England received 250 bids for the fund, which was first announced at the Conservative party last October. The pilots will cover about 7.5 millon people, exceeding the original estimate of 500,000.
Prime minister David Cameron said: “Back in October, I said I wanted to make it easier for people to get appointments that fit in around a busy working week and family commitments.
“There has been a great response from doctors, with lots of innovative ideas, and we will now see over 7 million patients given weekend and evening opening hours.”
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Extending GP opening hours and offering more services online will… make it far easier for millions of hardworking people and their families to fit seeing a GP around their busy lives.”
Revealed: the twenty pilot schemes
- Transforming Access to General Practice (North West London) – awarded £5m
- Access, Better Care, Better Standards (Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge) - £5,608,550
- Extending Access to Primary Care (Southwark) - £975,278
- Moving Primary Care to a Wellbeing Approach (West Wakefield) - £ 1,436,663
- Opening Doors - Aligning and Integrating Health and Care Services (Morecambe) - £ 1,137,132
- Easy GP Project (Bury) - £2,779,000
- Together as One Community (Hambleton, Richmondshire, Whitby) - £2,481,000
- Primary Care Home (Warrington) - £3,291,157
- Better Together (Workington) - £511,292
- Caring for Darlington Beyond Tomorrow - £448,440
- Extended Primary Integrated Care (Brighton & Hove) - £1,871,149
- Integrated South Kent Coast (Folkestone and Dover) - £1,894,267
- One Care Consortium (Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset) – £2.9m
- Steps to the Future (Slough) - £2,950,000
- Shaping Services to Meet Community Needs (Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly) - £3,575,000
- Improving Access, Supporting Primary Care Integration and Whole System Change (Herefordshire) -£2,663,206
- Transforming General Practice (Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire) - £5,252,463
- Transformational Innovations for Primary Care in West Hertfordshire (Watford) - £794,620
- Health United (Birmingham) - £997,216
- Transforming the Access Experience at Scale across England (The Care UK Super practice) - £960,000