This site is intended for health professionals only

NHSE planning to include continuity of care in future GP contracts

NHSE planning to include continuity of care in future GP contracts

NHS England is looking to recognise the ‘importance’ of continuity of care in future GP contracts.

Speaking at the NHS Confederation primary care conference today, national director for primary care Dr Amanda Doyle said she wants to incentivise practices to focus on continuity for patients but without ‘introducing silly measures and boxes to tick’.

The GP contract for 2024/25 is expected imminently, with Dr Doyle telling attendees her contract letter is due to be published ‘over the next few days’.

She said: ‘I can’t talk in any detail about the 2024/25 contract because we’ve not yet published it – we are hoping to publish it very, very soon. I would hope to spoil any possible bedtime reading over the next few days with a very interesting and long letter from me.’

When asked about the balance between increasing access and maintaining continuity of care, she said ‘being able to offer continuity is partly a function of capacity’.

‘The reasons often we fall down around continuity is we don’t have the capacity to meet everybody’s asks all the time, and so people end up being slotted in where they can and not necessarily with the person who knows them or the team who knows them,’ Dr Doyle said.

Over her 18 months in the NHSE role, she said she has ‘been really conscious’ not to ‘push unrealistic expectations’ on GPs given that ‘demand outstrips capacity by as much as it does’.

However, Dr Doyle confirmed that continuity of care will likely be included in future GP contracts.

‘We are looking at ways in which in the future we can recognise in the contract the importance of practices focusing on continuity, without introducing silly measures and boxes to tick and things like that,’ she said.

The 2024/25 contract has been badged ‘a stepping stone’ due to a lack of funding commitment, despite the current five-year contract coming to an end.

Last night, the BMA’s GP Committee (GPC) warned that it has given the Government 48 hours ‘to improve’ its offer for the 2024/25 contract, otherwise it will ‘set off a chain of events which will be deeply regrettable’.

Pulse exclusively revealed last month that the Government had initially offered a 1.9% uplift to baseline GMS funding for the 2024/25 contract, which the BMA said was ‘grossly inadequate’.

In December, the GPC asked grassroots GPs whether continuity of care should be included in the upcoming contract.

The Government’s current consultation on the future of QOF also asks the public whether continuity could be improved by being included in the incentive scheme.

Dr Doyle confirmed today that while NHS England is looking to ‘streamline things further’ in the 2024/25 contract, any ‘big change’ to QOF would come next year after the consultation has closed and been reviewed.

The Labour Party recently pledged to remove ‘burdensome’ bureaucracy for GPs in return for delivering continuity of care.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

John Graham Munro 28 February, 2024 12:29 pm

Some time back a guy was found working as an unqualified G.P. for 15yrs.———— with no adverse events———Really?——yes really.
And as for the untrained Psychiatrist———-well I’m sure many of you will remember that case

David Jenner 28 February, 2024 12:35 pm

Continuity v multidisciplinary care do not really sit easily together.
Especially for all new ARSS funding directed towards noctors “ non GPs”
Interesting to see what the “ ask” will be and whether it will just further raise public expectations beyond any possibility and reality.
Best way of facilitating continuity is regular , reasonable investment to core GMS/PMS with discretion for practices toinvest to achieve it.
And of course how do the same day access hubs fit with this?

Some Bloke 28 February, 2024 2:00 pm

so it is because nhsE have been “really concious not to push unrealistic expectations on GPs” that they keep coming up with more and more of unrealistic expectations from GPs? yes, that’s the logic clearly presented. Similar to local ICB shutting POD so they are “more inclusive” towards a fraction of surgeries who have not been using it.

SUBHASH BHATT 28 February, 2024 4:08 pm

Stop nhs 111 and walk in centres and divert money to gp practices and let them manage all ooh cover.. it will cost.
Best way to have continuity of care..

George Forrest 28 February, 2024 4:14 pm

Continuity OR unlimited access?
You can not have both – unless our imminent uplift is going to be north of 20%

One has real evidence of better outcomes for patients and improved productivity within a health system – the other is misguided magical thinking that risks irretrievably destabilising a GP service that is currently on the brink.
Which would you choose?

DHSC + NHSE have already chosen… access (of course)
Are they now saying that our imposed contract will mandate both?!
God help us all