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What is involved in the frailty checks scheme?

GPs will need to record yearly reviews and assessments for around 0.5% of their practice population, under new core GMS work agreed to replace the unpopular Avoiding Unplanned Admissions DES, the BMA has estimated.

frail old lady a12 tc5 3x2

frail old lady a12 tc5 3×2

The new contractual work comes in from July and funding from the unplanned admissions DES – some £157m – is being absorbed into the global sum to fund it. In return, all practices now need to make sure they fulfil new contractual obligations on frailty.

Practices will need to use an ‘appropriate tool’ – such as the electronic Frailty Index (eFI), which is embedded in EMIS systems – to identify frail patients. They will keep a register of the number of people with a diagnosis of moderate frailty and those with severe frailty, and record the number with severe frailty who have an annual medication review, have fallen within the past year and who have provided consent to a summary care record.

According to the GPC, practices in England will simply need to make sure they record and code the reviews correctly, although it conceded that practices may need to carry out work to set up the necessary coding system.

GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey told Pulse the reviews will be a ‘significant workload reduction’ compared with the unplanned admissions DES, as they will constitute work GPs are already doing for these patients. He added that the population of severely frail patients would account for around ‘half a percent of the average practice list’ – or around 3% of the over-65s population, while ‘moderately frail’ patients will account for 12% of over-65s.

The GPC has said the data collected will not be used for performance management. But NHS Employers have warned that failure to fulfil these requirements could result in a breach of contract notice.

Where can I find more information?

NHS Employers told Pulse that more detailed guidance would be issued closer to the contract start date.