Primary Care News

Funding extended to support primary care adopt digital staff pools

NHS England has announced an extension to a funding programme for Integrated Care Systems to adopt digital staff banks.

Initially, each ICS was entitled to funding to select a digital solution before March 2021. However, the funding opportunity has now been extended to 30 September 2021.

As part of an NHS England guidance update (19 May 2021), the funding is said to be available to support the creation of flexible staff pools that engage and deploy local GPs flexibly to support local primary care, including PCN extended access services.

£120 million of revenue funding will be allocated to systems, exclusively for general practice, to support the expansion of capacity until the end of September. The guidance states the ‘funding is non-recurrent’ and ‘should not be used to fund commitments running beyond this period’.

To apply for funding, systems will need to share a plan with their regional NHSEI team to access £120k to support the implementation and running costs up until March 2022.

Introduced earlier in the year to help provide extra staff, the guidance also notes “local agreement can be made in relation to GP rates of pay. It is recommended locums are paid in line with eDec maximum indicative rates of £77.57 per hour or £323.21 per session.”

HTN recently reported on NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, which selected the workforce management solution from Lantum. It means the day-to-day, cloud based tool will be used as a new multi-disciplinary staff bank across 162 GP practices in the area.

To view the NHS England guidance and funding update, please click here.