GP Contract

This page sets out guidance and links to further resources to support implementation of changes to General Medical Services (GMS) contractual arrangements that will apply in England.

Digital-first primary care: policy consultation on patient registration, funding and contracting rules

The NHS Long Term Plan commits that every patient will have the right to be offered digital-first primary care by 2023/24. But the current GP contract rules weren’t designed for digital-first services, and cause problems for existing practices, the NHS and new providers alike.

We have recently engaged on options and proposals to:

  • Change how the system works so we can ensure the money follows the patient and digital-first offers are better connected to local NHS services
  • Make it easier for existing GP surgeries to expand and improve their own digital services;
  • Allow digital-first providers to establish new services in areas with fewer GPs serving the population.

Further information about these proposals are available in the document we published to support the engagement.

The consultation closed on Friday 23 August 2019. We intend to set out the next steps following the consultation shortly.

General Practice Premises Policy Review: findings and next steps

Following settlement of the 2018/19 GMS contract, NHS England launched the General Practice Premises Policy Review as agreed with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the General Practitioners Committee of the British Medical Association (GPC England).

The Review engaged with key stakeholders to understand the issues currently impacting general practice premises and to explore potential solutions. The outcome is a series of policy responses to the issues which were explored, which are set out in a report which we have published.

As outlined in the document, these policy findings are only one part of what is required. The next stage will be to develop an implementation framework for how NHS capital for estates will be deployed to support the NHS Long Term Plan, developed alongside the forthcoming government spending review.

The findings of the Review are available here: General Practice Premises Policy Review.

GP contract five-year framework

The NHS Long Term Plan committed £4.5 billion more for primary medical and community health services by 2023/24.  This will support better care for patients outside hospital in their local communities.

NHS England and the British Medical Association’s General Practitioners Committee have agreed a five-year GP (General Medical Services) contract framework from 2019/20.  The new contract framework marks some of the biggest general practice contract changes in over a decade and will be essential to deliver the ambitions set out in the NHS Long Term Plan through strong general practice services.

The contract increases investment and more certainty around funding and looks to reduce pressure and stabilise general practice. It will ensure general practice plays a leading role in every Primary Care Network (PCN) which will include bigger teams of health professionals working together in local communities. It will mean much closer working between networks and their Integrated Care System.

Read the five-year framework for GP contract reform to implement The NHS Long Term Plan.

NHS England Letter – January 2019 – Five year GP GMS contract framework from 2019/20.

NHS England Letter – Five year GP GMS contract framework from 2019/20 – This letter from Ed Waller is in support of the GP Contract Reform which was published on 31 January 2019, it provides further information to the letter dated 19th February 2019.

NHS England letter – GMS Contract Settlement and Allocation Changes 2019/20 to 2023/24 – This letter provides details of the changes that are needed to allocations resulting from the GP contract settlement from Ed Waller, Director.

GMS contract changes 2019/20

A short summary of key parts of the contract

  • Core general practice funding will increase by £978 million per year by 2023/24.
  • A PCN contract will be introduced from 1 July 2019 as a Directed Enhanced Service (DES). It will ensure general practice plays a leading role in every PCN and mean much closer working between networks and their Integrated Care System. This will be supported by a PCN Development Programme which will be centrally funded and locally delivered.
  • By 2023/24, the PCN contract is expected to invest £1.799 billion, or £1.47 million per typical network covering 50,000 people.  This will include funding for around 20,000 more health professionals including additional clinical pharmacists, physician associates, first contact physiotherapists, community paramedics and social prescribing link workers. Bigger teams of health professionals will work across PCNs, as part of community teams, providing tailored care for patients and will allow GPs to focus more on patients with complex needs.
  • A new shared savings scheme for PCNs so GPs benefit from their work to reduce avoidable A&E attendances, admissions and delayed discharge, and from reducing avoidable outpatient visits and over-medication through a pharmacy review.
  • A new state backed indemnity scheme will start from April 2019 for all general practice staff including out-of-hours.
  • Additional funding of IT which will allow both people and practices to benefit from the latest digital technologies. All patients will have the right to digital-first primary care, including web and video consultations by 2021. All practices will be offering repeat prescriptions electronically from April 2019 and patients will have digital access to their full records from 2020.
  • A new primary care Fellowship Scheme will be introduced for newly qualifying nurses and GPs, as well as Training Hubs.
  • Improvements to the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) to bring in more clinically appropriate indicators such as diabetes, blood pressure control and cervical screening. There will also be reviews of heart failure, asthma and mental health. In addition there will be the introduction of quality improvement modules for prescribing safety and end of life care.
  • Extra access funding of £30 million a year will expand extended hours provision across PCNs and from 2019 see GP practices taking same-day bookings direct from NHS 111 when clinically appropriate.

This contract framework will see billions of extra investment for improved access to family doctors, expanded services at local practices and longer appointments for patients who need them. Watch this video which summarises the key points of the five year contract framework:

Standard contract documentation

General Medical Services Quality and Outcomes Framework

NHS England Enhanced Service Specifications

These enhanced service specifications outline more specialised services and those additional services provided by all General Medical Services (GMS) practices.

Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service

To support the publication of the GP contracting documents, NHS England have also published some frequently asked questions specifically focussing on Primary Care Networks.

The Network Contract DES also outlines transition arrangements for pharmacists employed under/funded by the existing Clinical Pharmacist in General Practice and Medicines Optimisation in Care Homes programmes.

The Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service (DES) Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme Guidance has now been published. This document provides information to primary care networks (PCNs), GP practices and commissioners to support recruitment of the five reimbursable staff roles under the Network Contract DES. The guidance includes information on how baseline staff are calculated, the methodology for the Additional Roles Reimbursement Sum and a series of frequently asked questions and scenarios to support the Scheme.

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Previous GP Contract documents