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An introduction to service development funding and general practice IT funding guidance 23/24

At THC, we provide resources for Primary Care Network leaders and in this blog, we review the Primary care service development funding and general practice IT funding guidance 2023/24 which was released on 6th June 2023.

Although the guidance document itself is only 25 pages and a pretty quick read, we wanted to offer an overview of the key highlights.

Within the blog, we cover:

The overall aim of the transformation funding

What the transformation funding is, and isn’t, for

What support packages are available

Let's jump in!

The aim of the funding...

The overall aim of the funding is to deliver an improved experience of access for patients, better continuity of care where most needed, and improved job satisfaction for staff.

In 2022/23, there were eight separate funding allocations. For 2023/24, there is now one single Primary Care transformation allocation (with the aim of reducing bureaucracy).

What is the transformation funding for?

Whilst there is one funding pot, the funding and support available covers the following.

1. Transformation which incorporates:

  • Local GP retention fund

  • Primary Care estates business cases

  • Training hubs

  • Primary Care flexible staff pools

  • Practice Nurse measures

  • Practice resilience

  • Transformational support (which included the previous PCN development and digital-first primary care funding lines)

  • PCN leadership and development (£43 million)

2. Workforce programmes which cover:

  • The Additional Role Reimbursement Scheme

  • General Practice fellowships

  • Supporting mentors scheme

  • International GP recruitment

3. GPIT which covers:

  • GPIT – infrastructure and resilience

It is for ICBs to determine how to invest in the overall transformation piece, taking into consideration any investment and support already in place.

Available support packages

To achieve improved experience of access for patients, better continuity of care where most needed and improved job satisfaction for staff, Integrated Care Boards will:

🎯 Nominate practices and PCNs for national intensive and intermediate transformation support, prioritising practices with the greatest challenges.

🎯 Either fund, or provide, local, hands-on support to 850 practices.

🎯 Coordinate system communications to support patient understanding of the new ways of working in general practice, including; digital access, multidisciplinary teams and the wider care available. This messaging should include system-specific services and a directory of local services.

🎯 Coordinate nominations and allocations to Care Navigator training, Digital and Transformation PCN leads training, and leadership improvement training.

Cohort 1 (40 PCN D&T leads nationally) were to be nominated by 7 June 2023.

3,250 Care Navigators nationally are to be nominated by 31 July.

🎯 Agree on practice / PCN support needs (incorporating digital telephony, online tools, training, capacity backfill, intensive support, etc).

This support will work alongside the other workstreams ICBs already have in place.

Direct Funding

As stipulated in the PCN DES and the Primary care service development funding and general practice IT funding guidance 2023/24 guidance document, networks will receive monthly funding via the IIF Capacity and Access Support Payment to support transformation.

A breakdown of these figures can be found here ⬇️

The guidance document also states that PCNs could receive additional transformation support funding for practices which is available via the Delivery Plan to provide ‘transition cover’ for change. Further guidance from NHSE on this is to come.

The SDF is not to be used to fund 'business as usual' staff, or other ICB costs.

What does the funding guidance mean for Primary Care Networks?

This is a document you should be aware of, and from my point of view, I would take time to digest this, along with any relevant ICB communications, to ensure you are fully abreast of the offers being made available.

No urgent action on your part is required but be mindful that the Access and Capacity plans are due for submission to your ICB on 30th June.

Many ICBs are asking for draft plans which provides an opportunity to seek, or get feedback on, any further information that may be required.

I hope this has been helpful.


About the Author

I'm Tara; I am the founder of THC Primary Care, an award-winning healthcare consultancy specialising in Primary Care Network Management and the host of the Business of Healthcare Podcast, where we have now published over 240 episodes.

I have over 20 years of project management and business development experience across the private and public sectors.

I have managed teams across multiple sites and countries; I have an MBA in Leadership and Management in Healthcare, I'm published in the London Journal of Primary Care, and I am the author of over 250 blogs.

I have 3 children. My eldest has Asthma, my middle child has a kidney condition called Nephrotic Syndrome, and my youngest daughter has Type 1 Diabetes, so outside of work, healthcare plays a huge role in my life.

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