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Collaboration with non-GP providers ‘a requirement’ for networks from 2020

GPs will need to work with non-GP providers as ‘a requirement’ in primary care networks from 2020, according to NHS contract documents.

Documents have revealed that the network contract DES will be changed from 2020/21 to include these new rules.

It follows the news that primary care networks ‘should include’ pharmacies, dental practices and optometrists, according to contract guidelines.

The new agreement says other organisations will be able to attend meetings of the core network practices to 'participate in discussions, subject to the agreed decision-making processes', according to the agreement.

The agreement adds: ‘PCNs will increasingly need to work with other non-GP providers, as part of collaborative primary care networks, in order to offer their local populations more personalised, coordinated health and social care.

‘To support this, the Network Contract DES will be amended from 2020/21 to include collaboration with non-GP providers as a requirement.

‘The Network Agreement will be the formal basis for working with other non-GP providers and community based organisations. Commissioners should consider how other services could be aligned with the PCN footprints in future.’

The guidance also stated that the success of primary care networks would ‘depend on the strengths of its relationships’, including non-GP providers.

‘Non-GP providers will be essential in supporting delivery,’ it said.

The mandatory network agreement said primary care networks would include GP practices - which are responsible for delivering the requirements of the network contract DES - and 'any other organisations'. 

BMA GP Committee chair, Richard Vautrey, said the new requirement will support the existing workforce and help provide care that ‘cannot be done by practices alone’.

‘Many of the areas that a PCN will work on in the coming years will need the support of the existing workforce in the community and one of the goals of these changes is to reinvigorate a genuine primary health care team with practice leadership,’ he said.

‘So for instance, providing more anticipatory care to patients identified with greater needs such as those with severe frailty cannot be done by practices alone but will need the involvement of colleagues in community care.’

Pulse recently reported that CCGs were trying to force practices into networks without consideration for working relationships or GP opinion.

It was also reported that pariah practices would still have to be part of primary care networks, as their patients deserve care, according to RCGP chair Helen Stokes-Lampard.

Readers' comments (8)

  • So GPs to take on the non-nhs work from non-gp providers because NHSE cant be arsed to commission proper non-GP services??

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  • National Hopeless Service

    This is going to cause another wave of early retirements, me included. Well done the BMA for negotiating a steaming pile of Sh@t

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  • how much more responsibility will they dump on us before we collapse completely?
    We are not far off a domino run of closing practices where the senior partners decide enough interference is enough and retire.
    Time we had a mass boycott of PCNs

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  • I suspect a mass boycott will not be needed they will just not function.The NHSE the big bully will have to come out in the open and call us all out for breaching this mess of a bag of the fag packet contract which keep changing for the worse.Then we either dance like a tea pot the their tune or walk away.An awful lot of us will do the latter.

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  • They are either making this up as they go along or all these new regulations were constructed ages ago. Again it’s the drip drip of controlled information management. What else is to be revealed and has the BMA known all this extra detail?

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  • Truly bizarre that GP practices should be lumped together with opticians/pharmacies/dentists. Their funding is a mixture of private and NHS. How can they be lumped together with GPs? Do they have contractual obligations analogous to GPs which forces them to join PCNs or will it be voluntary for them, in which case GP-led PCNs will have a nightmare coaxing them in.

    Either this is an unintentional dog's dinner or part of a masterplan to aggregate healthcare services to make them easier for private healthcare companies to buy out.

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  • Sounds like a “provider” version of the PCT, but external accountability for the coffee and biscuits at the endless meetings.
    It’s a non providers fantasy of provision. With coffee and biscuits.

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  • How about this for an idea. Non medical providers run the PCN and GPs provide the medical services for the PCN on a fee per activity , like the pharmacists , dentists and opticians.

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