June contract calendar
With the new contract well under way, Dr Bob Button advises practices on what they need to be doing in June
You should now be in a position to agree your budget with your PCO. The PCO has until June 30 to correct over- or under-payment. Bear in mind the current confusion over money available for premises expenditure.
PMS practices should be working on a suitably revised PMS agreement that complies with the new GMS contract. Some PCOs have not addressed this issue yet, so PMS practices should take the initiative. A specialist solicitor in London is offering a model agreement to practices on a licensing basis. Details about this can be obtained from your LMC.
Contact your PCO about its plans for the visits it must do in July concerning the quality and outcomes framework.
The new quality management and analysis system (QMAS) will be available to practices from August, according to the Government.
This is going to be a vital IT tool, so start to familiarise yourself with its potential as soon as you can. The BMA website has a useful bulletin about the system.
Remember it will only work on an RFA 99 compliant system. In the unlikely event that your PCO has not yet brought your system up to this standard, address this issue as a matter of urgency.
Also revise your information access policy to ensure confidentiality is not breached and that you are following good practice on all information governance.
With the holiday season coming up and the possibility of sickness among the partners, you should ensure there is an agreed system between your PCO and the LMC about the locum policy to be followed.
Although you may not normally qualify for locum payments, if a couple of partners are away on holiday you may find you need to seek such funding. You should be well aware of the system before the need arises.
The LMC conference begins today. The new contract is going to feature heavily, so keep an eye on the medical press.
You should have had a practice meeting to discuss the implications of the new contract on your practice agreement. I cannot stress too much the necessity for the agreement to be thoroughly revised. It is not good enough to merely attempt to fiddle around with your existing one. The contract has introduced some very important changes and the use of a specialist solicitor is going to be money well spent.
Bob Button is chief executive of Wessex LMCs