Latest updates

What’s been happening in general practice?

It’s an incredibly busy time for general practice and continues to be. We’ve summarised some of the key activities for easy reference.

National primary care clinical pathway for constipation in children

The new national primary care clinical pathway for constipation in children guidance supports clinicians in the prevention and management of constipation in children and young people by providing a clear and standardised approach, based on guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the British National Formulary for Children (BNFc) and clinical expert groups. The pathway promotes available resources for clinicians, families and other care providers and ensures they are easily accessible, as well as raises the profile of constipation in children and young people with a learning disability as a factor in adult mortality rates.

As well as this, there are other resources available to watch or download, including short videos and a printable poster. This work was produced in collaboration with NHS England – South West, ERIC – The Children’s Bowel & Bladder Charity, Bladder & Bowel UK, Academic Health Science Network – South West and the National Network of Parent Carer Forums – South West.

General practice inclusive access routes – Summary evaluation of a pilot in Humber and North Yorkshire

This is an evaluation from a pilot that was conducted in the Humber and North Yorkshire. You can read the evaluation and learn more about the pilot here.

How to identify and support unpaid carers

You can read and download the latest information on identifying and supporting unpaid carers here.

Offering patients access to their future health information

The NHS is working to make it easier for patients to digitally access their future health information in their general practice records. In a letter to general practice staff Dr Ursula Montgomery, Interim Director of Primary Care and Dr Nikita Kanani MBE, Medical Director for Primary Care, provide an update on the automatic switch on of prospective access on 1 November 2022.

A letter has been sent to ICBs, Acute, mental health and community trusts, and to NHS England regional medical directors by Vin Diwakar, Medical Director for Secondary Care and Medical Director for Transformation and Dr Kiren Collison, Interim Medical Director for Primary Care. This letter is to provide an update on the automatic switch on of prospective access for patients, with guidance for staff when sending information into general practice.

General practice contract arrangements in 2022/23 

We published documentation supporting the arrangements for General Practice contract arrangements in 2022/23. This includes the revised Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service (DES) and associated guidance and FAQs; guidance on the Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) and the Impact and Investment Fund (IIF); guidance on the service specifications for Personalised Care, Early Cancer Diagnoses and Enhanced Health in Care Homes; and an updated ready reckoner.

COVID-19 updates

We have set up a dedicated space for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme on our FutureNHS workspace, where you can access all the latest information on the vaccine programme.

Infection prevention and control

Public Health England’s infection prevention control (IPC) guidelines remains in place for all staff and patients in hospitals as well as GP practices. Staff, patients and visitors are expected to continue to follow social distancing rules when visiting any care setting as well as using face coverings, mask and other personal protection equipment. IPC face covering resources for NHS settings are available to download from Public Health England’s campaign resource centre.

Improving access

We need to ensure that general practice has the support, technology and time to deliver the right care for patients in the right way and at the right time.

Further information can be found in Our plan for improving access for patients and supporting general practice.

Resources and guidance are also available to help practices communicate with patients about the best ways of getting in touch with them when they need help.

Staff respect assets

Materials and guidance are available to download for use in primary care settings to encourage patients to treat NHS staff with respect. They include posters, social media graphics and display screen graphics. A poster template is also available that allows practices to feature photographs of their own staff and teams with the same messages.

Growing and supporting our workforce 

We have suite of interlocking GP recruitment and retention initiatives available to help support and sustain the general practice workforce including:

The GP Career Support Hub supports GPs during the different stages of their career.

Workforce planning and recruitment to the primary care workforce continues to be a key priority. The Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) online portal provides a more effective and simple way for PCNs to claim, and CCGs to approve, reimbursement for the roles hired. Further information to support recruitment into these roles is available on FutureNHS.

Coaching and wellbeing support

Our confidential Looking After You coaching support is available for all primary care staff. The three services have been designed to be easily accessible and tailored to individual needs. Experienced coaches can help people with their wellbeing, reflect on career goals and ambitions, and support leaders to manage their teams.

There is a range of additional support offers in place to suit a range of different health and wellbeing needs, including:

Flu programme

We have published information about reimbursable vaccines and eligible cohorts for the 2022/23 NHS Seasonal Influenza (flu) Vaccination Programme. The flu vaccine reimbursement guidance sets out the planned cohorts and vaccines that will be reimbursed for 2022/23.