What we know so far about the 2018/19 GP contract
Contract negotiations are running very late this year, but Pulse has already gleaned some vital information about what it holds in store.
- GP practices can expect 'minimal' changes to their contract from April.
- There will be no changes to the QOF, pending a review completing in 2019.
- There will be no new enhanced services.
- The Extended Hours DES will continue (despite the national rollout of CCG-commissioned seven-day GP hubs).
- Indemnity cost increases will continue to be reimbursed, with £30m to be paid to practices in the expectation that it will be distributed to all GPs working for them.
- Unlike the last two years, BMA's GP Committee has not directly negotiated a pay uplift with the Government, following the (rather vague) indication by the Chancellor that the 1% cap on public sector pay rises has been lifted.
- The GPC is holding out for a 'proper' pay uplift recommendation from the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB) but the final verdict may not be announced until late spring or early summer. If this is successful, the uplift would be backdated to 1 April.
- The GPC has asked the DDRB for GPs to receive a pay uplift of 2% (or £800, whichever is higher) plus the rate of the Retail Price Index (RPI, which currently stands at 4%).
- The GPC has asked for an inflationary uplift to the reimbursements to cover sickness and maternity leave, introduced last year.
- NHS England has declined GPC demands for GPs to be allowed to provide non-contractual private NHS services to patients on their lists.