NHS Long Term Plan summary

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The NHS Long Term Plan was launched on Monday 7 January, with an additional £4.5bn promised for primary care by 2024 and a focus on practices collaborating to serve populations of 30,000 – 50,000 patients.

The full Long Term Plan document can be read here. The main changes for general practice are focused around the rollout of Primary Care Networks (PCNs). The role and composition of PCNs are largely in tune with the networks outlined in the recent The Next Steps to the Strategic Commissioning Framework document.

The main points from the NHS Long Term Plan are:

  • CCGs will set up PCNs by the end of June, covering populations of 30,000-50,000 patients.
  • The PCNs will act as vehicles for most of the new funding which is going into general practice.
  • PCNs which reduce avoidable A&E attendances, admissions and delayed discharges will receive some of the savings back, to invest in local care.
  • PCNs will also identify and offer targeted support to people living with mental health conditions, musculoskeletal conditions, cardiovascular disease, dementia and frailty.
  • Practices will need to provide video consultations to patients by 2024, or contract a provider to do so on their behalf.
  • NHS England also believes allowing GPs to provide video consultations from home will increase workforce participation.
  • NHS 111 to be able to directly book appointments at all practices, starting in April.
  • NHS 111 and GPs will be able to refer patients directly to pharmacies, facilitated through PCNs.
  • The CQC will look more closely at what practices do to facilitate access for careers.


Last updated : 23 Jan 2019