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Outstanding unplanned admissions DES details to be published 'in the next few days'

NHS England has said that the final specification for the unplanned admissions DES – set to count for more than £20,000 of funding for the average GP practice this financial year – will be published ‘in the next few days’.

It has previously released a document with guidance on the DES, however NHS England has confirmed that this was not the full specification and that this is still pending.

Guidance and audit requirements issued with the contract say that ‘practices will be required to use the relevant Read 2 and CTV3 codes as published in the supporting business rules on the HSCIC website’ and also direct GPs to the NHS Employers website to obtain these.

However, the codes remain unavailable at either location, forcing practices to keep a separate log of their work in relation to the DES in order to prove what they have been doing.

Dr Robert Morley, executive secretary of Birmingham LMC said: ‘I haven’t had any specific local complaints but some codes are not available yet. Also, area teams haven’t produced the paperwork for practices to sign up to.’

Dr David Jenner, a GP in Cullompton, Devon and GP contract lead for the NHS Alliance said: ‘It’s a national problem. The guidance only came out on 2 April and this has been changed once.

‘The codes are not available on SystmOne for us to use now, so we’re having to use proxy codes. It’s an absolute mess – and looks like being a bureaucratic nightmare.’

But GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said finalising the specification was a formality.

He said: ‘This is the formal specification which does not differ from the information that practices already know about. However, the issue relating to the Read codes is separate. Practices should not wait for these but will need to add them to a patient’s records once they are available, which I hope will be as soon as possible.’

A spokesperson for NHS England said: ‘We hope to finalise the specification with the BMA in the next few days.’

The DES has replaced the QOF ‘quality and productivity’ domain and last year’s risk-profiling DES as part of the new GP contract. It involves GPs providing telephone access to advise on hospital transfers or admissions, case-managing vulnerable patients and reviewing unplanned admissions and re-admissions.

However, around one in seven GPs will refuse to take it on amid fears that it is too bureaucratic, according to a Pulse survey unveiled earlier this week.

Last week Pulse reported that practices are having to keep paper lists of patients that have been informed of their ‘named GP’, under the new contractual requirement, because Read codes had not been put in place by software companies yet.

Readers' comments (4)

  • Bob Hodges

    I think I'm going to be one of the 'one in seven'.

    I haven't worked out whether to be Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, Dopey or just Doc.

    Whoever dreamt up this DES is just an an intellectual Dwarf.

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  • No I am Sparticus.

    Me too, not giving credence to Coalition electioneering.

    Rather take the pay cut and remain sane, this DES does not have any evidence base.

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  • I think the "outstanding" in your headline refers to the details rather than the DES itself, unless I am mistaken?

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  • unadulterated nonsense.
    like others we found no evidence our service could have done anything more to reduce emergency..i think a better term than the pejorative term 'unplanned'.admissions..the ridiculous idea that emergencies can be predicted is nonsense.....in any case if an acute problem presents now..the idea that any gp doesn't prioritise it now and sits in a chair smoking a cigar is so absurd.....how does a lunatic bureaucratic list help here?how do regular checks prevent an emergency admission?we all know the old story of a patient having a bupa style health check that is normal and dropping dead the next day.....i know we have reached full parody in the nhs when the powers that be in their complete ignorance and zero experience of medicine think that doctors have developed a sixth sense in that we can predict the future.....
    in my view this misguided schemery will result in..
    more waste of nhs time and money away from evidence based interventions..why does nice not ban such a wasteful idea with no evidence base as it does others?
    more demoralisation of gps early retirements etc.

    in the unlikely event it reduces emergency admissions(i refuse to use the self justifying term 'unplanned') it will be diverting precious funds from useful interventions.

    this moronic idiocy is yet another example of the unending blizzard of trash from doh and parliament..
    although many of us will have to submit to it to be able to fund our practices i object profoundly to it and the rest of the demagogic schemery that breaches nice and even arguably gmc guidelines in not following duty to always act in patient's best interest as opposed to colluding in a scheme diverting resource away from such a goal.
    yet yet again i am desperately disappointed that our leadership even starts to negotiate with such insanity..the correct approach however hard was to totally reject it out of hand.
    as before now government knows our misguided and naive leadership can be bribed (with money we were previously earning anyway!)to agree to anything however stupid then it will continue until our profession lose all self respect,and the public's trust that gps give impartial advice is further damaged leading to increasing difficulty in persuading patients we recommend something in a patient's best interest rather than our financial self interest so further damaging patient care.
    i hope new bma leadership will reverse course and provide principled leadership or i perceive our already severely damaged profession will proceed to complete destruction as bribed purveyors of junk medicine.

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