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GP contract to undergo ‘fundamental review’ this year, says NHS England chair

Exclusive: GPs are facing a new raft of changes to their contract, with a ‘fundamental review’ of how practices are paid due to report later this year, the chair of NHS England has told Pulse.

Speaking at the Pulse Live conference, Professor Malcolm Grant, chair of NHS England, said the three ‘big things’ that the organisation would focus on this year would include how to incenvitise ‘medium term’ outcomes in primary care.

The other two priorities will be addressing the rising pressure on A&E departments and mortality rates at certain hospitals.

Professor Grant said that he was not in favour of redrawing the contract for GPs to take back out-of-hours care, in order to address the rising pressure on A&E departments, but that there did need to be a ‘joined up idea’ of the source of the problem.

Professor Grant said: ‘I am not really keen about the GP contract going through a battle every year, without a clear vision of where it is going.’

When asked if this meant there was going to be a fundamental review of the GP contract this year. Professor Grant agreed, saying: ‘It will be put out to consultation later this year’.

‘We have some big things to tackle - A&E, mortality rates in hospitals and the other is primary care.’ 

He said that NHS England intended to ensure that the GP contract struck the ‘right balance’ between providing resources for an elderly population and supporting practices in deprived areas.

He also admitted that the quality of care under NHS 111 had been ‘unacceptable’ and said that the rollout would be extended ‘for as long as it takes’ to ensure it provides a good service.

‘We will extend its footprint gradually and only when we are satisfied it can provide a good service,’ he said.