What's in the new GP contract?
The 2016/17 GP contract has been announced. Here are the key points.
- Increased investment of £220 million (a 3.2% funding uplift) into the GP contract to deliver a 1% pay uplift and reimbursement to meet rising expenses facing practices, including higher Care Quality Commission (CQC) fees, practice upkeep and staffing costs.
- An end to the dementia enhanced service with a transfer of resources to core funding.
- No disruption for practices from annual contract changes, with no new clinical workload schemes or changes to the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF)
- Joint commitment to explore the end of the QOF and “Avoiding Unplanned Admissions” enhanced service.
- A commitment to a national strategy to reduce bureaucracy and manage demand on GP services.
- A 28% increase to the vaccination and immunisation item of service fees from £7.64 to £9.80.
- GP practices will be required to record data on the availability of evening and weekend opening for routine appointments every six months, which is to be collected until 2020/21.
- GP practices will record annually the number of instances where a practice pays a locum doctor more than an indicative maximum rate, as set out by NHS England.
- The MenACWY 18 years will be extended to allow for the opportunistic vaccination of 19-25 year old non-freshers who self-present for vaccination.
- NHS Employers and GPC will work with NHS England and the Department of Health to ensure that appropriate and meaningful data relating to patients’ named accountable GP is made available at practice level. This data will be shared internally within practices and used to improve services for patients.
- Arrangements to identify patients with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will be developed by the Department of Health, NHS England and GPC. This would be at registration and patients would self-declare their EHIC. It is aimed to be implemented in December 2016.
There are also some non-contractual changes on patient online access:
- Practices will be encouraged to use electronic prescriptions, with the aim of having 80% of repeat prescriptions transmitted electronically using EPS Release 2 by 31 March 2017.
- Practices will also be encouraged to use electronic referrals, with 80% of referrals made through the NHS e-Referral Service by 31 March 2017
- Practices will aim for at least ten per cent of registered patients to be using one or more online services by 31 March 2017
- Practices will provide patients with online access to letters, including discharge summaries, outpatient appointment letters, and referral letters unless this could cause the patient harm or contains references to third parties
Source: BMA, Department of Health, NHS Employers