The BMA has today unveiled details of this year’s updates to the GP contract, which it said includes ‘minimal changes’ to provide practices with ‘support and stability’ through the Covid pandemic.
The main headlines include:
- The four new PCN service specifications due to start in April have been postponed.
- PCNs will be able to hire community mental health practitioners, splitting the costs with community trusts. They will also have increased funding as previously agreed to hire paramedic and AHPs.
- ‘London weighting’ will be added to the maximum ARRS reimbursement amounts.
- Seven new indicators will be added to QOF, including four for a new domain covering vaccinations and immunisations, two on serious mental illness and one on cancer.
- A new obesity and weight management service and associated funding will be considered, with an aim to bring in the measures during 2021/22.
Other changes coming in from April include:
- ARRS funding will see an uplift from a maximum of £430m in 2020/21 to a maximum of £746m in 2021/22, as previously agreed. Other contract uplifts, such as to global sum and the IIF, will also go ahead as planned.
- NHS England will collect data on practice staff terms and conditions to inform guidance and explore how to make gender pay gap information ‘more transparent’ in 2021/22.
- The cervical screening additional service will become an essential service.
- Patient consent for electronic repeat dispensing will no longer be required on a permanent basis, following its removal during the pandemic.
- A ‘more timely’ transfer of records for patients who move between practices will become a contractual requirement.
- ‘Minor’ updates will be made to the PCN DES Structured Medication Review and Early Cancer Diagnosis services.
- The transfer of clinical pharmacists to PCNs from the Clinical Pharmacist in General Practice scheme will be allowed from 1 April to 30 Sept 21.
- The current arrangement that means practices operating a ‘total-triage’ / ‘triage-first’ model do not have to meet the 25% online booking contract requirement will be extended from April.