Ahead of the chancellor’s spending review tomorrow, George Osborne recently announced that he will hand the NHS in England an urgent £3.8bn increase in funding to help it contend with the pressures caused by staff shortages, an ageing population and growing health demands.

This announcement represents a front-loading of the £8.4bn previously promised by 2021 after weeks of intense arguments between the Treasury and Simon Stevens, the NHS England chief executive, who says that this should be enough to stave off winter crisis and to start making the changes necessary to implement the efficiencies required to take the NHS towards the goal of a seven-day service by 2020.

This morning, Jeremy Hunt (Secretary of State for Health), Simon Stevens and George Osborne visited Streatham High Practice, one of three practices in Lambeth managed by AT Medics. The ministers and NHS chief executive were keen to meet Dr Hasnain Abbasi, AT Medics GP Director and Founder and governing body member of NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group to see how a Care Quality Commission “Outstanding” rated practice continues to deliver exceptional care in such challenging times.

During the visit, Dr Abbasi explained the steps Lambeth is taking to integrate care, with examples such as the GP Access Hub, a new initiative of four hubs across Lambeth, resourced through the Prime Ministers Challenge Fund, which provides GP and nurse appointments seven days a week until 8pm each evening. He also discussed the Lambeth approach to integrating records and the Federation structures which support localised care programmes.

The visitors were also very interested to learn about the innovations that AT Medics has introduced to Primary Care such as its GP Frontline triaging and consultation methodology, developed and deployed across its practices around London, enabling greater and more rapid access to care.

Jeremy Hunt said he was extremely impressed by Streatham High Practice and AT Medics’ pioneering contributions to NHS Primary Care.

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