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Independents' Day

NHS England outlines GP practice Easter opening requirements

NHS England has confirmed that GP practices will be required to open during core hours on both Good Friday (10 April) and Easter Monday (13 April).

In a news bulletin to practices sent last night, NHS England apologised for the information being given to GPs at such a late stage.

The email, from medical director for primary care Dr Nikki Kanani and deputy director for GP contracts Gabi Darby said this comes as Covid-19 demands are 'anticipated to be at their highest so far in many areas' this weekend.

'We have previously asked for primary care to align with the rest of the NHS, and to treat the Easter bank holiday as a normal working day. This will be no normal weekend, as you will have anticipated,' the message said.

They added that this will mean all GP practices openingin core hours, with the exception of alternative arrangements agreed in advance with the CCG.

NHS England said this could be demand being met via PCN arrangements, but stressed that 'transferring calls to NHS 111 will not be an option'.

GP practices will be expected to provide remote triage for 'delivering care and treatment wherever possible and appropriate'; and 'proactive clinical management support' for patients identified at highest risk from Covid-19 who have been advised to shield.

GPs will also need to continue 'any essential face-to-face services (including home visits) that may be required'. 

The bulletin said: 'We are sorry to be sending this information so close the bank holiday weekend but hope the details below will help you to finalise your arrangements.'

It added: 'We recognise that this short notice change presents challenges for you and your staff (including childcare difficulties, although you may wish to check if schools/nurseries for key workers in your areas are available as usual).

'Practices should discuss with their local CCG the level of service required on the bank holiday, and agree what staff cover is needed.'

NHS England has previously stated GPs will get reimbursed in full for their costs relating to the extra opening.

The bulletin said: 'GP practices open on Good Friday or Easter Monday will be able to seek reimbursement for additional staffing costs. Further costs incurred as a result of the pandemic will be addressed in due course.'


Readers' comments (9)

  • “Show me the money!”

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  • yet there are no local pharmacies opening, no courier service to the hospital for bloods and urine....

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  • PCNs to the rescue-for free! The government has screwed up and even the poor PM is in ICU, now down to the good old GP to help again.

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  • £200 per session is what has been offered. Does not even pay for the locum that we employ to cover the costs.

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  • Pharmacies open 2 til5 at least and we do have a courtier system locally

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  • They are mining a seam of good will that is exhausted ther will be a lot of fall out for this government cluster f**k.

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  • say no--and mean it

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  • Knowledge is Porridge

    Happy to be open, its a good idea. Would colleagues really propose we close for a 4 day weekend right now?
    Plenty to grumble about in recent years, but this isnt it.

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  • I know that money should not be on our mind at this moment of national health crisis but our good will keeps getting tested. The money offered is a slap on the face. This is not even covering the cost of locum and all admin staff demanding double the rate for working BH. This is a total disgrace.
    I would rather throw this money at the face of NHSE and do a free charity work this BH to feel much better then getting this useless money being thrown in the begging bowl.

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