• GP surgeries to get tech funding boost

NHS England has unveiled plans to support GP practices in their use of technology, if they can pass a series of checks.

The multi-million pound Estates and Technology Transformation fund was in part set up to improve the technology capabilities of GP surgeries nationwide. It has already helped to complete 516 schemes, and a further 316 are currently in development.

“The NHS needs strong primary care services, and today we’re taking further practical action to provide GPs with modern surgeries to work from, expanded staff to offer their patients a wider range of mental health care, and better support for GPs who look after patients at evenings and weekends”, said NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens, at the National Association of Primary Care Annual Conference in Birmingham.

Practices in the midlands and the east of England were the first to benefit from the investment scheme, while announcements on further funding are expected in the coming weeks. NHS England has also said that it is planning other large-scale schemes in the near future. Improving the hardware and software in use in GP practices can cut costs and improve the patient experience.

Stevens also highlighted the importance of GP surgeries in the NHS as a whole. He said: "We meant it when we said GP services are the bedrock of the NHS, and we’re backing that commitment with concrete action to deliver the General Practice Forward View.”