Nottingham University Business School

Centre for Health Innovation, Leadership and Learning (CHILL)

Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund Service Evaluation

In 2014,the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund invested £150 million in local initiatives to develop innovative ways of increasing access and delivering wider transformational change in general practice. The latter includes developing more integrated out-of-hospital services which deliver better health outcomes, more personalised care, and excellent patient experience. Amongst the first wave of twenty pilots announced in April that year, were a set of initiatives collectively submitted by nine clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

How was CHILL involved?

CHILL was commissioned by NHS North Midlands to undertake a detailed local evaluation of these local pilot projects. The initiatives were many and varied, each seeking to improve access in primary care and to improve the quality of primary care services. Pilots included extending opening hours in GP practices, the setting up of hubs for weekend services, the use of telephone and video triage, web consultations, and improving the integration of services for home visits and acute care.

Project aims

The aim of the evaluation was to identify the factors that affected the successful implementation, embedding and sustainability of initiatives designed to extend access to GP services and/or improve the quality of GP care.

Project highlights

  • Mixed quantitative and qualitative research methods were used to establish ‘proof of concept’ for the pilots and to explore, with key stakeholders, factors that influenced successful implementation and diffusion of initiatives across the region.
  • Evaluation findings will be used to inform the commissioning and implementation of current and future NHS primary care initiatives and roll-outs.
  • The conference on ‘Innovation in Primary care: Lessons from the PM Challenge’, was organised and hosted by CHILL on 2nd March 2016. The conference brought together local stakeholders involved in Wave 1 pilots of the PM Challenge Fund (GP Access Fund), healthcare professionals and commissioners from across the NHS England, and health academics. Key findings from the CHILL evaluation of local pilots in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire were presented. Mini focus groups enabled attendees from across the NHS England, who are also involved in PMCF pilots, to share their experiences of designing and implementing PMCF Wave 1 initiatives.


Project team

PI: Dr. Paul Windrum

Project team: Dr. Jane Guinery, Dr. Penelope Siebert, Dr. Robert Smith and Dr. Sarah McDonald

Funder: NHS North Midlands

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