The Director of NHS Commissioning, Ros Roughton, has told a conference in Manchester that technology, the NHS workforce and development support will all be key to introducing seven-day GP services operating from 8am to 8pm.
Speaking at Health and Care Innovation Expo 2015, she told delegates that work was “underway” to address the challenges of improving GP access – which she said would be the “touchstone” for demonstrating how the NHS was performing in the future.
She also spoke of the challenges facing GPs in delivering services – as well as measures being introduced nationally to support GPs and how GP services will be accessed in the future.
“We know GPs are under immense pressure,” said Ms Roughton.
“The level of investment in the NHS has not been matched in terms of investment in primary care – there is variation in quality of care, and despite high levels of satisfaction, we have seen a drop in access.
“But work is underway to respond to these challenges – we’ve increased funding allocations for primary care; we have workforce initiatives underway; there is £200 million worth of Prime Minister’s Challenge schemes – and we have just announced a new occupational health service to support GPs.
Ms Roughton added that using nurses, pharmacists and other professionals would “take the pressure off GPs”.
“It’s also about large scale collaboration, but in a way that makes sense to the local population and staff, “ she added.
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