Implementing the 2018/19 GP Contract: letter to commissioners

This letter from confirms the outcome of the 2018/19 General Medical Services (GMS) contract negotiations.

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NHS England has published a letter to commissioners which signposts all the guidance that is, or will shortly be, available to support implementation of contract changes for 2018/19.

CCGs with delegated commissioning responsibilities should work to amend local primary medical care contracts and implement changes at the earliest possible opportunity, backdated in effect from 1 April 2018, including any agreed enhanced services.

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Commissioning primary care services

NHS England has updated the Primary medical care policy and guidance manual to reflect the changing landscape in primary care co-commissioning.   This document provides commissioners of primary care services the context, information and tools to safely commission and contract manage primary medical care contracts.

The document is split into four sections:

Part A – Excellent Commissioning and Partnership Working

Part B – General Contract Management

Part C – When things go wrong

Part D – General

Collaboration in general practice

Collaboration in general practice: Surveys of GP practices and clinical commissioning groups | Nuffield Trust |  Royal College of General Practitioners

This report summarises the results of two surveys, sent to general practice staff and to CCG staff, aimed at finding out what had changed in the landscape of general practice since the previous surveys two years ago and to explore what GPs feel the future holds for them.

Key findings include:

  • The scaling up of general practice continues apace with 81% of general practice-based respondents reporting that they were part of a formal or informal collaboration, up from 73% in 2015.
  • However, the landscape is complex. Practices often belong to multiple collaborations that operate at different levels in the system, having been set up to fulfil different purposes.
  • The main priorities of all collaborations over the last year were: increasing access for patients, improving sustainability, and shifting services into the community. The priorities differed by size of collaboration. Both providers and commissioners reported that time and work pressures were the biggest challenge to collaborations achieving their aims.
  • When asked about developments in their local area, over half of GP staff and one-third of CCG staff surveyed felt practices and collaborations had not been at all influential in shaping the local sustainability and transformation partnership (STP). Only one-fifth of GPs thought STPs would deliver meaningful change in primary care. CCGs were more optimistic, with 61% reporting that meaningful change was probable.
  • When questioned about future models of care, around half of practice partners (53%) said they would be ‘unwilling’ or ‘very unwilling’ to give up their current GMS/PMS/APMS contract1 to join a new models contract (e.g. MCP or PACS contract2). The most common reason they gave was that they did not want to lose control of decision-making and leadership in their practice.

The report can be downloaded here

Struggling GP trainees given option to extend training for up to 18 months

Trainee GPs that struggle to meet required levels after the standard three years of training will now be able to extend their training by up to 18 months, Health Education England (HEE) has said | GP Online

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GP trainess who fail one or more exams at the end of their usual three years will be able to extend their training by 12 months, with a further exceptional six months. The move brings GP trainees more in-line with other medical specialties, which are currently allowed to extend their training by 12 months with a further exceptional 12 months.

The BMA welcomed the change, as it warned current system ‘unfairly disadvantage’ some of the more diverse groups of doctors. It is hoped the change will help prevent doctors who initially struggle to pass exams being lost to the profession.

The announcement comes alongside a commitment to make it easier for doctors from other specialties to enter GP training.

Read the full news story here

Improving access for all: reducing inequalities in access to general practice services

Improving access for all: reducing inequalities in access to general practice services

NHS England

This guide, aimed at GP commissioners and providers, is designed to promote understanding of groups in the community who are experiencing barriers in accessing services. It provides resources to help address those barriers as improvements in access to GP services are rolled out.

The Recruitment, Retention And Return Of Nurses To General Practice Nursing In England

This report, authored by Ipsos MORI, outlines the findings of qualitative research into the drivers and barriers to entry into general practice nursing (GPN) | NHS England

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It finds that the general perception is that general practice is more suitable for older or more experienced nurses. As student placements in general practice are rare, there is a lack of opportunity for students to develop an understanding of the GPN role. The research also highlights the need for greater support for GPNs and the lack of standardisation in pay for GPN roles.