GP commissioners fund urgent care in bid to prevent winter crises

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 16 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7480
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1BMJ

GP commissioners across England are putting sizeable portions of their budgets towards propping up their local emergency services this winter.

Jim Cuthbert, a GP and a lead on urgent care for Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, said that his group was putting £5.2m (€6.2m; $8.5m) into urgent care services in hospitals and the community above what it already commissioned. The group’s annual budget is £730m.

The prime minister announced in August that hospital emergency departments in England under strain would be able to apply for a share of a £250m fund this winter.1 The money comes from NHS efficiency savings and underspending.

One of the two hospitals serving the Liverpool CCG, Aintree University Hospital, has been given £1.6m through the government’s fund, and the CCG is giving the other hospital, Royal Liverpool Hospital, £1.2m.

For the investment the CCG expects senior clinicians to make rapid assessments in emergency departments and for turnaround times to improve. It is also asking the hospitals to introduce a model of care for frail elderly people.

“We need to do something different for elderly people,” Cuthbert told the BMJ. “We …

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