News, Primary Care News

Additional funding for GP practices where digital telephony has lower functionality than national standards

A letter from Dr Amanda Doyle, national director for primary care and community services for NHS England, has highlighted additional investment for GP practices where digital telephony has “lower functionality than the national standards”, with calls for ICBs to validate their practice eligibility and send proposals in by 5 December 2023.

The support is offered on a time-limited basis for completion, with the letter stating that demand may require prioritisation against available funding. This prioritisation will target investment to practices unable to meet the functional requirements of Annex A here along with considering local digital strategies; value for money aspects such as assessment of contract life and supplier costs; practice commitment and willingness; and practice engagement with the General Practice Improvement Programme.

Dr Doyle requests that ICBs validate the eligibility of their practices, taking into account capacity, ability to transition and practice appetite, and send through a proposed long list to by 5pm on 5 December 2023. Long listed practices must also confirm their agreement by signing up in principle via email, with a deadline of 18 December. Full instructions can be found here.

Practices that sign up in principle will be considered by a national prioritisation panel, with ICBs to be notified of final allocation by 22 December.

Earlier in the month, we covered a letter from Dr Doyle to ICBs urging general practice to sign digital telephony contracts ahead of the December deadline.

We have also previously covered general practice care navigation guidance from NHSE which highlights the role of digital tools such as cloud-based telephony, online forms and consultations, and messaging software.

At a recent HTN Now webinar, we welcomed Dr Minal Bakhai, GP and director for primary care transformation at NHS England, for a discussion on modern general practice, the use of digital tools to improve experiences for patients and staff and the national general practice improvement programme. Click here to catch up.