NHS England has unveiled three funding streams to help drive forward transformation of general practice via the GP Forward View.
Speaking at the National Association of Primary Care's annual conference this week, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens revealed further action to strengthen primary care services, providing GPs "with modern surgeries to work from, expanded staff to offer their patients a wider range of mental health care, and better support for GPs who look after patients at evenings and weekends".
First up, nearly 300 GP practice schemes are to be supported this year by NHS England's Estates and Technology Transformation Fund, a multi-million pound investment to boost premises and technology to improve and expand out of hospital care for patients.
The Fund has already supported around 560 now completed schemes and 316 that are currently underway, and a number of larger scale schemes are also planned for completion in future years, NHS England noted.
Stevens also announced the first stage of plans to provide expanded psychological therapies in primary care for patients with long term conditions such as diabetes or COPD.
More than £11 million is to be awarded in 2016/17 and over £24 million in 2017/18 to fund 30 Clinical Commissioning Groups to improve mental health care for patients with long term conditions through 22 different psychological therapies schemes, in the hope that a more integrated approach will improve outcomes.
Lastly, a new £5 million scheme to support GPs with indemnity costs for working in out of hours services and unscheduled care services has been launched, to increase cover during the winter period.
The scheme will cover the costs of personal professional indemnity for GPs wishing to undertake additional out of hours work up until March 2017, to give them the freedom to work sessions without having to pay additional indemnity costs.
"We meant it when we said GP services are the bedrock of the NHS, and we're backing that commitment with concrete action to deliver the GP Forward View," Stevens noted, commenting on the action.