NHS Employers and the British Medical Association’s General Practitioners Committee (GPC) announced changes to the GMS contract in England for 2016/17 on 19 February 2016.
The contract for 2016/17 will see significant investment, helping to alleviate some of the pressures in general practice and working to improve access to services. In addition, there have been a number of other key changes including further development of data collection to drive patient care and changes that continue or build on last year’s online services. No changes have been made to the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) indicators or thresholds.
Full guidance is now available as well as some FAQs on the contract uplift. NHS England has produced a ready reckoner for practices to calculate how the changes are likely to affect them- available here.
Download the technical requirements document for the 2016/17 contract changes.
The key changes include the following:
- An investment of £220 million into general practice, covering a pay uplift of one per cent, an increase in the item of service fee for vaccinations and immunisations to £9.80, a change to the value of a QOF point, due to adjusted Contractor Population Index (CPI) and additional funding to cover expenses relating to additional Care Quality Commission costs and other increased business expenses.
- A contractual requirement to record data, every six months, on the availability of evening and weekend opening for routine appointments.
- Agreement to discuss during 2016/17 how to make available for use at practice level appropriate and meaningful data relating to patients’ named accountable GP, to support peer review and quality improvement.
- All V&I programmes will continue in 2016/17 unchanged with the exception of the meningococcal C, meningococcal B, meningococcal ACWY and pertussis vaccination programmes (see V&I changes).
- Enhanced Services (ES):
- the dementia ES will cease on 31 March 2016
- the avoiding unplanned admissions ES will continue for a further year
- the extended hours and learning disabilities ES will continue unchanged for a further year.
- Some non-contractual changes to patient online access have been agreed. These focus on using digital technology to provide more efficient services underpinning general practice and greater flexibility and choice for patients and practices (see summary document).
The following has also been agreed:
- Access to healthcare - the Department of Health, NHS England and GPC will develop arrangements for identifying patients with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), S1 or S2 forms.
- NHS England will set a maximum indicative rate based on a set of rates (which may have some degree of regional variation) for locum doctors’ pay. NHS England will amend the electronic declaration system to include recording on the number of instances where a practice pays a locum doctor more than the maximum indicative rate.
- NHS England and GPC have also agreed to take forward discussions in the coming months on a number of other areas (see summary document for details).