On 1st March, NHSEI issued a letter outlining details on the new GP contract which comes into effect on 1st April. Lots of people are understandably eager to make sense of the finer details and what they mean for practices and GPs themselves. Our Medical Director and resident GP Partner, Dr OIi Maunsell, has stripped it down to these bitesize points:
- QOF income protection comes to an end at the end of this month*. There will be no additional indicators after this point. Quality Improvement Modules will focus on optimising patients’ access to general practice, and prescription drug dependency. Weight Management enhanced service will continue, owing to its popularity (97% practice uptake).
- Expanding capacity remains a top priority. The amount available for PCNs to recruit additional staff will be increased by £280m to just over £1b for 22/23. PCNs will continue to have flexibility to hire into any of 15 different roles. Doubling of mental health practitioner roles, to support patients with complex mental health needs.
- Extended Access and GP Access are being combined into ‘Enhanced Access’ and being managed by PCNs to provide the new service - launching in October ‘22. Bookable appointments are 6:30-8pm weekday evenings and 9am-5pm on Saturdays. PCNs will be expected to come up with a local plan for their own area. Draft plans are due in by 31st July, with final iteration agreed by 31st August. Appointments offered during enhanced access times are for any general practice services and a mix of F2F and remote. Must be made available 2 weeks in advance. Online booking must also be available for these. 111 will still have access to these slots as well. There must be ‘some’ GP cover in each session, but can make use of the wider clinical team to provide services.
- NHSEI is committed to honouring the existing 5 year funding deal, which is due to run until 23/24.
- Online appointment booking - currently at least 25% of appointments must be available for online booking. In the new contract, “all appointments which do not require triage are able to be booked online, as well as in person or via the telephone”.
- The new contract removes the requirement for practices to print and send copies of the electronic record of deceased patients to PCSE. But practices are now responsible for responding to Access to Health Records Act (AHRA) requests for deceased patients.
- Minor changes to vaccinations and imms which reflect updates to the vaccination schedule recommended by the JCVI: HPV (moving from Gardasil 4 to 9, and from a 3 to 2 dose schedule for most patients), MMR (cessation of 10 and 11 year olds catch-up programme), MenACWY Freshers programme (coming to an end on 31st March). There is extra funding for helping children catch up who are late with their routine childhood imms because of the clash with Covid-19 vaccinations.
- Subject Access Requests to continue, with this workload reflected by an announcement of the continuation of funding in Global Sum of £20m for one additional year. This is relevant to ‘accelerated access’ or ‘prospective access’ which come into effect in April (delayed from December) and have a big impact on subject access requests / data access.
- There is support for the ‘modernisation of GP registration’, allowing patients to register digitally. Unclear exactly what the details of this are currently, in terms of timeframe, rollout etc.
- There has been an increase in funding for PCNs to support core running, leadership and management.
- IIF - limited expansion of the cardiovascular disease and prevention and diagnosis service, and the anticipatory care and personalised care services, in a phased approach from April ‘22.
- Three new IIF indicators focused on DOAC prescribing (over 70% of AF patients need to be on them) and FIT testing for cancer referrals (performed between 7 days before to 14 days after the referral to attract additional funding) will be introduced in 22/23.
- Digitally enabled personalised care for care residents - PCNs will have an additional year to implement this. 22/23 is preparatory, implementation by March ‘24.
- As already known about, CCGs are being replaced by Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) from April who will take over responsibility for commissioning primary care services.
*With the loss of income protection and the changes being made to QOF and IIF, see how Codepilot can help you save time, boost income and stay on top of your finances.
For more information, click here for the full NHSEI letter.
You can download a summary of this update to print/share here.