Changes to the General Medical Services contract for 2020/21




  • General Practitioners and General Practice staff
  • CCGs
  • Heads of Primary Care

Publishing approval reference: C0713

4 September 2020

Dear Colleagues

Further to the commitments made in our letter dated 9 July 2020 we would like to update you on the arrangements for both the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) for the remainder of 2020/21 and the Dispensary Services Quality Scheme (DSQS) which as previously has been reinstated from 1 August 2020.

Quality and Outcomes Framework

Today we have published revised QOF guidance which details the requirements for 2020/21. This includes detail of the following:

  • The points and payment changes for the four flu vaccination and two cervical screening indicators;
  • The indicators which will continue to be paid on a conditional basis;
  • The refocused requirements for the Quality Improvement domain support the restoration of key services to people with a learning disability and early cancer diagnosis;
  • The indicators which will be subject to income protection arrangements and the conditions upon this income protection.

This guidance is effective immediately and the Statement of Financial Entitlement will be amended shortly to reflect this.

Dispensary Services Quality Scheme (DSQS)

We have previously confirmed that the DSQS would be reinstated from 1 August 2020, and that dispensing practices wishing to participate in the Scheme this year would need to inform their commissioner. We also advised income protection arrangements would be in place for the period between 1 April 2020 and 31 July 2020.

Following further discussions with the British Medical Association (BMA), we have revised the Scheme’s requirement in relation to patient medication reviews this year.

The Scheme normally requires dispensing practices to undertake medication reviews for at least 10% of their dispensing patients. This requirement has been reduced to a minimum of 7.5% this year in light of the current circumstances. Practices are asked to prioritise patients who they consider to be higher-risk or would benefit most from a review. Practices will also be able to undertake these reviews remotely if they so wish and it is clinically appropriate. The Statement of Financial Entitlements (SFE) will be amended shortly to reflect this.

The other requirements of DSQS remain the same – please refer to the SFE for further details.

Commissioners are expected to take a supportive approach to DSQS given the current circumstances. This includes taking a proportionate approach to the requirement for practices to partake in one clinical audit of dispensing services, and have due regard to the impact of Covid-19 on practices’ training plans.

Kind regards

Ed Waller | Director, Primary Care Strategy and NHS Contracts | NHS England and NHS Improvement

Dr Nikita Kanani |  Medical Director for Primary Care | NHS England and NHS Improvement