News & Media

New mandate underlines premises need

22.03.2018

NHS England’s mandate for the 2018-19 year highlights how primary care premises will need to rise to the challenge of making access to health and social care easier, closer to home.

The annual letter from government to NHS chiefs sets out its expectations of NHS England when it comes to primary care in the coming year, including:

  • more services provided away from hospitals, a larger primary care workforce and greater integration with social care
  • delivery of core requirements for access to enhanced GP services, including evening and weekend access, to 100% of the population
  • easier and more convenient access to planned GP services, including appointments in the evenings and at weekends, and effective access to quality urgent and emergency care 24 hours a day across the whole week
  • progress by all STPs on developing a strategic estates plan that is consistent with progress towards the 2020 national goals.

Our CEO, Jonathan Murphy, says: “The Five Year Forward View, GP Forward View and the STPs all highlight the need for a fit-for-purpose primary care estate if the changes the NHS is making are to reach their full potential. To deliver more services away from hospital, accommodate more staff in primary care and to offer appointments at evenings and weekends means having buildings which can accommodate those different ways of working, rather than practices stuck in dated former residential buildings or portacabins. It’s encouraging to see the challenges GPs face with their buildings finally getting the focus they deserve.”