New five year GP contract to take effect from April 2019

New five year GP contract to take effect from April 2019

A new five year GP contract for England will be introduced from April 2019. The GP contract will increase general practice funding by almost £1 billion per year by 2023/24, as well as providing state backed indemnity insurance and IT funding.

During the first year of the new GP contract the global sum payment per patient will increase by 1% with practices receiving £89.88 per patient during 2019/20, an increase of 92p from the £88.96 received per patient in 2018/19. However, the global sum payment will be increased further over the remaining four year contract period (2020/21 to 2023/24).

The relatively small increase to the global sum payment from 2018/19 to 2019/20 is to allow for the costs of setting up a state backed insurance scheme in April 2019. The scheme will cover clinical negligence claims for all GPs, and all other staff working to deliver primary medical services.

A primary care network (PCN) contract will also be introduced and will take effect from July 2019. The contract will invest a further £1.8 billion in PCNs, equating to around £1.5 million per 50,000 patient network. A PCN brings together a range of health and social care professionals, such as GPs and pharmacists to work together to provide personalised and preventative care in their local community.

In addition to the global sum payment, each practice that joins a PCN by July 2019 will receive a network participation payment of 1.76 per patient. Although the new GP contract does not make joining a PCN mandatory, both the British Medical Association (BMA) and NHS England expect every practice to do so. PCNs are intended to provide patients with better access to healthcare. Each PCN covers between 30,000 and 50,000 patients. According to NHS England, PCNs are small enough to provide personal care but large enough to have an impact and to benefit from economies of scale.

According to the BMA, the global sum and PCN payments will enable practices to increase staff pay by at least 2% during 2019/20. Practices that belong to a PCN will also benefit from access to practice support staff, including social prescribers, clinical pharmacists, physiotherapists and physician associates. NHS England has promised to fund 22,000 support staff by 2023/24.

Medical accountants expect practices to be ‘better off’ under the new contract. However, they have called for reassurances that joining PCNs will not result in ‘hidden tax bills’ for member practices.

Contact Haslers to find out more.

New five year GP contract to take effect from April 2019

New five year GP contract to take effect from April 2019
New five year GP contract to take effect from April 2019

 

New five year GP contract to take effect from April 2019