Government, NHS England and the British Medical Association’s General Practitioners Committee agree changes to the GP contract in England.
The new contract will see an investment of £220 million for 2016 to 2017, part of which will provide a pay uplift of 1% for GPs.
This agreement is the start of a process for investment, support and reform in general practice which both sides are working together to achieve, with a bigger package due to be announced soon.
NHS England and the GPC have also committed to take forward discussions in 2016 on a number of areas that include:
- a national approach to workload management and reducing bureaucracy in general practice
- a national promotion of self-care and appropriate use of GP services
- arrangements for sickness payments
- an approach to calculating practice expenses
- arrangements for identifying patients with EHIC or S1 and S2 forms through patient self-declaration
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
GPs are the bedrock of the NHS and I am determined to provide the support they need so they can spend more time with patients. Today’s deal is just the start of significant new investment for general practice which will help GPs to provide a truly modern, efficient service every day of the week.
The changes include:
GP practices will record data on the availability of evening and weekend opening for routine appointments
GP practices will record annually the number of times a locum doctor is paid more than an indicative maximum rate, as set out by NHS England
the Men ACWY vaccine at 18 years will be extended to allow for the vaccination of 19 to 25 year old non-freshers who self-present for vaccination
NHS Employers and GPC will work with NHS England and the Department of Health to ensure that appropriate and meaningful data relating to patients’ named accountable GP is made available at practice level. This data will be shared internally within practices and used to improve services for patients
Avoiding Unplanned Admissions Enhanced Service will continue for a further year with minor amendments to clarify the timeframe around care planning, but its future will be considered during the 2017 to 2018 negotiations
Dementia Enhanced Service will end from 31 March 2016 and the £42 million resource will be transferred into a global sum, in recognition of the fact that GPs are more routinely diagnosing dementia
Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said:
Today’s welcome agreement between NHS England and the BMA provides GPs with some stability and support, and shows what can be achieved through sensible and constructive negotiation. However this contract is only one small element of a far wider package we’re jointly developing to help practices with workload, workforce and care redesign.
That will require radical new options, including further support for GP recruitment and return to practice, funding for additional primary care staff, new options for practice premises, a reduction in paper-based red tape, alternative approaches to indemnity cover, and redesigned out of hours, 111 and extended hours arrangements, to name just a few - all underpinned by much greater team working across individual practices.
Further details are available on the NHS Employers website.