Doctors urged to apply for money from emergency fund for ‘quick fixes’

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Doctor surgeries in South Tyneside can bid for up to £20,000 at a time to see themselves through short-term emergencies thanks to a new scheme from health bosses in the borough.

The fund, which is run by the South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), is intended to provide quick fixes for practices facing problems.

This can include issues that cannot be dealt with through existing budgets or insurance schemes, such as sudden increases in patient numbers or illness outbreaks.

The GP Practice Crisis Resilience Fund was discussed at a meeting of the CCG’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee last week.

Matt Brown, the CCG’s director of operations, said: “The idea is practices can come to us when they’re having emergencies or crisis issues, things like funding for additional staff or accommodation.

“I think the key thing is we’ve asked for applications to be peer reviewed by another practice, so even before it reaches us it’s had check for spurious requests.”

A report included a copy of a form for practices applying for cash, which asked applicants questions such as why they couldn’t secure funding from alternative sources or whether support had been sought from other practices.

The paper did not specify the total value of the fund.

 James Harrison

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service