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Contract countdown: What do we need to do before April?

1. Named GP

You need to assign a ‘named, accountable GP’ for all patients, including children, who will take lead responsibility for the ‘co-ordination of all appropriate services required under the contract’. You need to have allocated a named GP to all patients by 31 March 2016 and state on your practice website that all patients have a named GP.

However, you don’t have to write to patients to inform them of their named GP, just inform them at the ‘next appropriate interaction’.

2. Publish practice earnings

You need to publish your practice income on your practice website by 31 March. This is the average net earning for GPs at your practice. This is only contractual income from NHS England, CCGs and local authorities. You do not need to publish income from other sources such as premises, dispensing, private work and out-of-hours work. The income relates to the 2014/15 financial year and includes all GPs who worked for over six months at the practice during that finanical year. For further information see our Q&A on publishing practice income.

3. Provide online access to all coded information in the GP record

By 31 March, you must provide access to coded information in the GP record for patients who make an ‘active application’. Free text will not be accessible and you can withhold coded information if this is in the patient’s interests or where there is reference to a third party.

4. QOF 

There are no major contractual changes from last year, but make sure you get your points up to speed before the end of March to maximise your income.

5. Unplanned admissions DES

The DES achievement in preventing unplanned admissions is now being reported twice a year instead of quarterly, on a simpler reporting template. Patients with care plans from the previous year can remain on the 2% register, but GPs will have make sure they have given them at least one care review by the end of March. Practices are also obliged to retain a patient participation group and GPs have needed to continue to identify newly registered patients aged 16 or over who drink alcohol at increased or higher risk levels, and offer interventions.