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Extended NHS 111 direct booking pilot subject to local pay decisions

Local commissioners will decide how much, if at all, GP practices will be paid to take part in extended piloting of NHS 111 direct booking of appointments.

A pilot running in the North East of England since 2016 has offered practices 70p per patient, however NHS England told Pulse this was not national policy.

NHS England also confirmed that it will require CCGs to ensure 30% of all GP appointments are open to direct booking by NHS 111 from April 2019.

This comes as the GP contract deal, announced last week, saw the BMA’s GP Committee agreeding to an expansion of the pilot that will ‘inform’ contract negotiations for next year.

Pulse also asked whether only GP-qualified call handlers would be able to book in callers to appointment slots, to which NHS England said this was not the case but would to be for local agreement.

It comes as Pulse reported in December that CCGs had already been told to reserve 5% of GP appointments for direct booking by NHS 111.