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Independents' Day

BMA in negotiations with NHSE over funding for network service specifications

Exclusive The BMA is 'currently in negotiations' with NHS England to ensure primary care networks (PCNs) get the resources they need to deliver network specifications.

From April 2020, all networks will have to begin to fulfil seven service specifications under the network contract DES, including medication reviews and enhanced care in care homes.

However, it will not attract extra funding, above and beyond the money being given to employ the non-GP healthcare staff.

GPs have argued that this funding will not be enough to 'suddenly deliver' these extra specifications, saying it is 'more work with no funding attached'. 

But the BMA has told Pulse that negotiations over funding for the delivery of the seven service specifications are ongoing. 

Funding will be unlocked over the next two years to employ additional practice staff, including physiotherapists, paramedics and physician associates. These staff, alongside the pharmacists and social prescribers currently being funded, is hoped to total 22,000 by 2023/24. 

The contract document said that, in return for the funding for these new staff, must deliver the seven service specifiations. These include:

  • medication reviews;
  • enhanced health in care homes;
  • anticipatory care for high-need patients;
  • ‘personalised care’, to implement the NHS comprehensive model;
  • early cancer diagnosis;
  • CVD prevention and diagnosis;
  • and tackling neighbourhood inequalities.

The contract states: 'The annual funding increase under the additional roles reimbursement scheme will be tied to agreeing the service specifications nationally, and their subsequent delivery.'

In a Twitter post, Wyre Forest GP Dr Roy Williams asked the BMA how PCNs are expected to deliver 'more work' if the funding does not follow.

He said: 'NHS England now confirming that there will be no funding attached - how can PCNs deliver more work with no funding - the small number of additional roles should be supporting practices not delivering NHSE ambition - I feel we have been missold.

'Really struggling to understand the thinking that the few hours of additional staff that we are paying 30% of will allow us to suddenly deliver five national specs - this should be about making practices sustainable first - also confusion about existing funding stream.'

In response, BMA GP Committee executive member Dr Krishna Kasaraneni said: 'We are in negotiations now' and the 'absolute priority is about supporting and rebuilding general practice.' 

He told Pulse: 'PCNs are beginning to consider the requirements for the coming year and it's understandable that they need more information about this as soon as possible.

'PCNs have the potential to transform general practice and community-based care, including the services delivered to patients, but only if they are properly resourced.

'The BMA is currently in negotiations with NHS England on the elements of the contract agreement that will begin next year, and will work to ensure that PCNs, regardless of where they are based, have the tools and resources they need to deliver what is expected of them.'

NHS England previously said the networks who will deliver the requirements 'further' and 'faster' will get additional funding.

Earlier this month it admitted that some areas across the country will struggle to recruit the 20,000 additional primary care staff that were promised to them.

Readers' comments (10)

  • could have told you the contract was severely underfunded, having read the actual report. BMA should have done its homework and refused the contract at the beginning - total b***s up there whoever in the BMA said it was ok. RCGP don't have any clue on finance and the whole programme is a joke. You have to put the staff in first to run any programme, no staff, no programme. shambolic.

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  • My guess is they will direct CCGs to pay for it....

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  • As usual the BMA will be negotiating GPs to pay for the privilige of propping up the NHS at their own money expense.

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  • The new contract is a BMA clusterf++k thats sold GP land and ultimately the NHS down the river into the arms of Bozo and trump new world health system.

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  • Scrap PCNs. Take us the dentist way.

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  • The negotiations should start with a 20% pay rise before we even talk about extra work which must be fully funded. Come on BMA act in the interests of your members fixing the NHS is not my concern.

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  • Cobblers

    I'm struggling with this crock of sh1te.

    So, hypothetically if I refused 'extra' staff and refused to fund 30% of their pay could I then tell NHSE to shove their seven specifications up their fundament?

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  • no extra monee - no extra workee !

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  • When are the BMA going to realise that the NHS is the problem?

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  • The scale and size of funding is not enough to create real change in communities of 50k. They will only scratch the surface of the work that they could do. Again, real investment is lacking, and we will be flogged for our missing of targets. It’s not on.

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