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  • General practice pharmacist scheme evaluation indicates ‘improved capacity’ as the main benefit

    General practice pharmacist scheme evaluation indicates ‘improved capacity’ as the main benefit

    Tuesday, 31 July 2018 15:31
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    NHS Digital seeks views on SCR with Additional Information

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Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
More inWhite Papers  

gp-contractOctober 1 2014

All patients are to have a named GP following changes to the General Medical Services contract announced on September 30. The move follows on from last year’s introduction of named GPs for people aged 75 and over.

Other contract changes include

•    reducing bureaucracy to allow GPs more time to better manage the care of vulnerable patients with the aim of reducing A&E admissions
•    practices will have the costs of locums reimbursed when required to cover maternity/paternity leave
•    GP practices will be obliged to publish their average earnings by March 31 2016
•    patients will have online access to more detailed information from their patient records
•    a larger proportion of appointments will be available to book online
•    GPs will be supported to offer patients more email consultations
•    it will be a contractual requirement from next year for all practices to have a patient participation group (PPG) and to make reasonable efforts for this to be representative of the practice population
•    there will be a 15% reduction in the total seniority payments
•    all practices will be required to identify newly registered patients aged 16 or over who are drinking alcohol at increased or higher risk levels.

The changes are a result of the annual negotiations to review the contract. The BMA says the agreed revisions “will provide a much-needed breathing space for general practices and stability for patients.” However, it is warning that there are still short and long-term challenges that need to be addressed as a priority.

In addition, the Department of Health said: “The government is extending the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund, which provides more flexible GP appointments, including extended opening hours from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, as well as email, phone and Skype consultations.

“Helping families fit GP appointments into their busy lives, the extension will cover millions more people, supplementing the 7.5 million patients benefiting from wave one of the scheme.”

More than 1,100 practices have been taking part in the GP Access Fund pilots. The second phase of access pilots will see priority given to places where patients find it harder to get a GP appointment because of long standing difficulties to recruit doctors, said the DoH.

“Innovative practices will be able to bid for a share of the fund by demonstrating new initiatives to improve patient access, in and out of normal working hours.”

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Chair of the BMA’s GP committee, said: “After tough negotiations, we have reached an agreement with the Government which gives general practice a much-needed breathing space and greater stability for patients.

“We welcome, in particular, those changes aimed at freeing up GPs’ time and improving patients’ experience of general practice.  Measures to reduce bureaucracy, provide enhanced care to vulnerable patients and allow family doctors to spend more time with patients are a step in the right direction.

“At the same time, we must not lose sight of the relentless pressure on general practice from rising demand, declining resources and the move to transfer services from hospitals into the community. We are now at a critical juncture, faced with a shortage of GPs, with surgeries closing and facilities in many practices increasingly inadequate to deliver high-quality care.”

Links:

BMS statement

Department of Health statement

NHS Employers summary of changes

Practice News

July 31 2018 General practices employing pharmacists are citing improved capacity to see patients and workload changes as the main benefits of the scheme.
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