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.

Contracting and finances

On 17 September NHS England and NHS Improvement published an updated Network Contract DES Specification and Network Contract DES Guidance. The changes cover areas such as;

  • The introduction of the Investment and Impact Fund
  • The introduction of nursing associate and trainee nursing associate roles to the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme
  • Flexibility – by exception – for the clinical lead role for care homes to be a non-GP.

The full summary of changes is set out in the covering letter

In addition, guidance has been published for the Investment and Impact Fund and for Structured Medication Reviews (SMR).

The 2020/21 General Medical Services (GMS) contract Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) was also updated.

The Dispensary Services Quality Scheme (DSQS) was reinstated from 1 August 2020. PCN development funding was made available to integrated care systems (ICSs) and sustainability and transformation partnership (STPs) in August – £43.7 million with supporting guidance.

We sent a letter to practices advising them of changes to the GP contract from 1 October 2020 to implement the agreements reached with the BMA in 2020/21

Growing and supporting our workforce

We shared a letter about the need to expand the primary care workforce, with a reminder for all primary care networks to plan to take full advantage of their guaranteed funding.

Practices should use their allocation as soon as possible and can still recruit in the latter half of the year. CCG and system support is available for workforce planning, developing MDTs, rotational employment systems, and recruitment, including social prescriber link workers through VCSE partners or the South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit.

We also launched a number of schemes to help support and sustain the profession:

Medical Appraisals have resumed but with a reduction in preparation time and a strong focus on your wellbeing. Further details and guidance can be found on the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges website.

We announced that child and social care support was now available for returning GPs as part of the GP Induction and Refresher scheme.

Offered time-limited support to cover recruitment and induction costs for additional Network  DES-funding social prescribing link workers until 31 January 2021.

We have continued to promote the #LookingAfterYouToo – coaching support which is available to all primary care staff.

Wider operational updates