Primary care services are integral to delivering high-quality, personalised services for patients, and for enabling the shift from hospital to the community. To deliver outstanding care in the community and drive wider-scale service integration, the NHS requires appropriate infrastructure. Yet, over half of GP buildings in England are currently considered to be unfit for purpose and ill-equipped to meet future patient need. A significant proportion of the primary care estate lacks the space, layout and capability to accommodate multi-disciplinary teams, deliver co-located services and drive up adoption of digital care.
The Government has pledged to deliver an ambitious healthcare infrastructure programme, committing an extra £1.8 billion to upgrade the current NHS estate and to build 40 brand new hospitals in the next ten years. However, this programme has largely ignored the needs of the primary care estate.
This Reform Perspectives argues for the need of greater focus and prioritisation of the primary care estate in the Government’s plans, calling for further investment into these services, better streamlining of existing funding and a new approach to funding digital initiatives in primary care.
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