Good organisation of care across the interface between general practice and secondary care providers is crucial in ensuring that patients receive high-quality care and in making the best use of clinical time and NHS resources in both settings. This briefing document describes the key national requirements which clinicians and managers across the NHS need to be aware of. These are set out in the new NHS Standard Contract for 2017-19, under which clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) commission health services from providers, which came into effect on 1 April 2017 and which will remain in place until 31 March 2019.

The National Association of Patient Participation will shortly be publishing a similar document for patients so they know what they can expect (which reflects the new measures) when they are referred to see a specialist and/or discharged from hospital.