The long-awaited NHS long term plan was finally published this week, with all our publications covering news of a £4.5bn funding boost to primary and community care.

According to the plan published on Monday, £4.5bn a year of the £20.5bn of additional NHS funding received by 2023 will be invested into primary and community healthcare which NHS England claims will mark 'the first time in the NHS’ 70-year history when there will be a new guarantee that investment in primary, community and mental health care will grow faster than the growing overall NHS budget.

The document also revealed details of the Government’s plans for the structure of the NHS, with Healthcare Leader reporting how integrated care systems would cover the whole of England by April 2021, evolving from the current network of STPs.

Pulse reported that GP practices in England will be required to join primary care networks, which will typically cover 30-50,000 patients, in return for a major funding boost, and GPs will also be able to take part in a ‘shared savings’ scheme that will allow them to ‘benefit’ from efforts to reduce avoidable A&E attendances, admissions and delayed discharge. 

For practice and community nurses, the long-term plan set out details of a new online nursing degree to be launched in 2020 as part of an effort to make nursing training ‘more accessible’. And for pharmacists, the plan hinted that NHS England is working with local practices, pharmacies and commissioners on a pilot that will see GPs refer patients directly to a community pharmacy.