The four new PCN service specifications due to be introduced this year will be delayed until October ‘at the earliest’, NHS England has said.
In January, updates to the GP contract for 2021/22 revealed that the four service specifications would not be introduced in April as planned, due to the need for ‘pandemic prioritisation’.
The delayed services are those covering tackling inequalities and CVD diagnosis and prevention, as well as the controversial personalised care and anticipatory care services that were first delayed last year.
NHS England has now confirmed that all four ‘will not be introduced to the Network Contract DES until 1 October at the earliest’.
In a letter sent to practices last night, it added that ‘no further Investment and Impact Fund (IIF) indicators will be introduced’ until at least the same date.
It said: ‘IIF indicators on seasonal flu vaccination (including for over 65s, patients aged 18-64 in a clinical at-risk group and children aged two to three years), annual Learning Disability Health Checks and Health Action Plans and social prescribing referrals will continue for 2021/22, alongside a further indicator to support the implementation of national appointment categories.
‘No further IIF indicators will be introduced until 1 October at the earliest.’
QOF will continue to be based on indicators for 2020/21 with only ‘limited changes’, it reiterated.
And GPs were last night told they have a week to opt out of continuing to deliver Covid vaccinations when the programme moves onto its second phase.