All systems must ‘locally commission additional capacity’ in order to deliver ‘robust’ initial health checks for Ukrainian refugees, NHS England has said.
In a letter to directors of primary care, NHS England said CCGs ‘may wish to commission directly from general practice’ or where lots of refugees are expected to arrive, to ‘guard against impacts of local GP services’.
The letter said: ‘To ensure there is a robust approach to identifying individual’s initial health needs (both for all current and future arrivals) we are now asking all systems to locally commission additional capacity for delivering robust initial health assessments.’
NHS England said commissioners must cover any extra costs from these services, ‘within the inflationary uplifts already provided in allocations’.
It added: ‘Given the dispersed geographical nature of arrivals, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) may wish to commission directly from general practice; or where large numbers of arrivals are anticipated, a dedicated provider to guard against impacts on local GP services.’
Meanwhile, an LMC has claimed NHS England are looking at a specific enhanced service for Ukrainian refugees.
Gloucestershire LMC’s latest bulletin said: ‘We have been informed that Ukrainian refugees are not included in any current Enhanced Service schemes.
‘NHSE are in the process of looking at a specific enhanced service for this population.’
When approached by Pulse, a spokesperson would not confirm or deny whether NHS England is considering introducing an enhanced service.
The Government said in April that GPs should offer tuberculosis (TB) symptom screening to all new entrants from Ukraine aged over 11.
GPs fleeing Ukraine can receive free medical indemnity membership from the Medical Defence Union.
The Government has also confirmed that Ukrainian refugees will be guaranteed free access to NHS healthcare including GP appointments, urgent care centres and hospitals.
The NHS had previously reminded GPs that proof of ID is not needed to register with a practice in updated guidance on providing healthcare to people coming from Ukraine.