To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to increase capacity in general practice in (a) North Cornwall and (b) Cornwall.
14 December 2017
The General Practice Forward View set out a package of investment in general practice, including reforms to increase capacity, such as recruitment and retention initiatives, extended access and the Time for Care programme.
By 2020, the Government has committed to 5,000 additional doctors in general practice and 5,000 other staff in general practice; and by March 2019 everyone having improved access to general practitioner services, including sufficient routine appointments at evenings and weekends to meet locally determined demand.
Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the Devon CCGs that it borders are working collaboratively with NHS England, ensuring that CCG boundaries are not a barrier to improving patient care and providing a stable and sustainable platform for primary care.
Local sharing of learning is taking place from progressive practices, such as St Austell Healthcare, where work at scale has seen the introduction of innovations such as the split of sites for on-the-day and ongoing care, access to a wider range of support staff and space for outpatient appointments.
NHS England is also continuing to support projects through the Estates and Technology Transformation Fund (ETTF) to increase physical capacity and efficiency. Schemes include the expansion of Launceston Medical Centre in North Cornwall. A third party developer is progressing to an exchange on a strip of land behind the surgery for early in the new year, after which the practice will be able to take forward plans for an extension to the surgery (part-funded by a grant from the ETTF).
There is a national NHS England scheme to recruit clinical pharmacists to general practice, so patients can get expert advice on medications. Five practices in the Truro area are among practices to benefit.