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The Somerset Guardian, 10th May 2023

After the real problems caused by Covid-19, the Government has acted urgently to develop a Delivery Plan for Recovering Access to Primary Care. Many dozens of constituents have written to me over their concerns and fears so it is important that reforms are being made.
As the country exits the Covid-19 pandemic, the Minister confirmed that general practice is now delivering 10% more appointments each month than pre-pandemic.  This means that the average G.P. surgery is seeing about twenty additional patients every working day, something that has been possible through the hard work of staff and significant Government spending.

However, demand is growing partly owing to our ageing population. The number of people in England aged seventy or over is around a third higher than in 2010 and this group has, on average, five times more G.P. appointments than teenagers.

The Department of Health and Social Care has worked closely with N.H.S. England to make it easier and quicker to obtain assistance from primary care professionals, underpinned by the recent updates to the G.P. contract for 2023/24.

As part of this plan, the Government is giving the equivalent of £35,000 per practice to provide new technology to make it easier for patients to get a response on the same day. In addition, it is offering up to £645 million to enable pharmacists to provide treatment for common conditions. Cutting bureaucracy to free up G.P. time will mean that £37,000 could be saved per practice and finally, delivering more appointments and extra personnel will ensure that there is an adequate amount of staff in the N.H.S. workforce.

By delivering these plans, the Department will meet the Prime Minister’s pledge to cut waiting lists and build a stronger N.H.S. for patients now and in the future.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance:

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