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Are you aware of the changes to the 2017/18 GP contract?

Posted on 14/02/2017 by

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The new GP contract is bound to have positive and negative impressions on general practices across England. After changes to the new contract were agreed by the government, NHS England and the British Medical Association’s General Practitioners Committee. How will the new changes affect you and your practice? Are they good or bad?    

The main headlines in the contract is that the unplanned DES will discontinue and £156.7m will supplement the global sum, around £238m will be invested into the 2017/18 contract. Additionally, GPs will receive
1% pay rise, the latter does appear to be slightly good news.

There are many financial benefits for practices which include:

  • Practices will receive full reimbursement for CQC fees.
  • £30m is to be provided for rising GP indemnity costs with practices to gain a share of the capital on a per patient basis.
  • Practices who work to provide further appointments outside core surgery hours will receive extra funding.
  • £3.8m uplift for pensions superannuation.
  • The fee for health checks under the learning disability DES will be increased from £116 to £140 per patient.
  • Currently, there are no changes to the QOF, only a QOF point value is to increase. The BMA and NHS England have agreed that a group will be set up to discuss the future of QOF.

The contract also provides some good news for practice managers with regards to running their practice which include:

  • £2m extra will provide cover for medical record handling costs.    
  • Workforce census will become a contractual requirement with £1.5m added to core funding to cover the workload.
  • Maternity payments made to practices will no longer be made pro-rata, to receive payment, practices will only need to submit an invoice.
  • Practices will also be entitled to sickness payments to cover absence.

The not so good news

  • Practices that close for half a day during the week will no longer be eligible for extended hours DES funding from October 2017.
  • Practices will also be contractually required to determine a new patient’s eligibility for NHS healthcare to help the service recover costs from overseas visitors.
  • Other contractual requirements include to enable the extraction of data relating to agreed indicators no longer in QOF.

Even though some of the 2017/18 contract changes are welcomed by practice manager’s and first thoughts being slightly positive, the few positive changes will generate only small amounts of extra funding and will not solve the huge pressures that remain on GPs and their staff and GP Practices facing closure.

If the changes to the 2017/18 GP contract will influence your Practice’s staff or if you would like to discuss recruitment needs for NHS experienced Receptionists or Secretaries, please do get in touch on 020 7198 6080 or email TPP Health & Social Care are experts in recruiting for temporary and permanent support staff for General Practices.   

 Source: NHS England