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Private GP providers will have to publish pay

GMS contract requirements to make GPs publish their pay will also be placed upon any primary care providers commissioned by NHS England or CCGs, including private APMS practices, NHS England has said.

At the NHS England board meeting on Thursday, national director of commissioning strategy Ian Dodge laid out measures for the co-commissioning of primary care and said it was important for CCGs to ensure ‘consistency across different contractual reforms’, specifically citing the publishing of pay.

His comments were made as part of the discussion on what co-commissioning involves, which also revealed that NHS England would be publishing statutory guidance on CCGs avoiding potential conflicts of interest.

As part of the 2015/16 GMS contract, practices will have to publish their average GP pay, which NHS England plans to expand to individual GPs declaring their pay.

But Mr Dodge confirmed at the meeting that this will also apply to PMS and APMS providers.

He said: ‘It’s important to ensure consistency across the different contractual forms, on a number of areas where it would be self-evidently odd to allow variation.

‘So for example, we are introducing, in GMS, a new set of requirements around transparency of GP earnings, and CCGs collectively and the profession will absolutely want to make sure that that applies across all forms of contracting.

‘So we will have a mechanism to be able to insist on national rules that apply across all forms of primary care commissioning.’

An NHS England spokesperson confirmed to Pulse that this meant APMS providers would be required to publish their pay.

Mr Dodge also explained there would be – for the first time – statutory guidance on managing conflicts of interest for CCGs who take on primary care co-commissioning roles, and auditors will have to assure NHS England that these are being met.

He said: ‘When we publish the guidance document to CCGs it will provide more information, we hope, early next week. We will set out those arrangements and invite formal comments back before issuing, for the first time in this area, statutory guidance on the handling of conflicts of interest.’

The board approved all the measures put forward in the proposal, which Pulse has previously reported will pave the way for CCGs to develop local quality assurance schemes which GPs can adopt instead of the national QOF.

Also at the meeting, national director of commissioning operations, Dame Barbara Hakin warned that plans to for implementing integrated health and care services in five Health and Wellbeing Board regions will be delayed until 2015.

Dame Hakin said Essex, Hillingdon, Lancashire, Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire were the only areas not to receive approval for their plans, and would have to undergo a redesign before they could be adopted by NHS England.