The negotiated changes to the 2017/18 GMS contract have now been published. The changes proposed are as follows :-
1. The global sum increase is intended to cover increasing practice expenses and deliver a 1% pay uplift. This will include :-
a. £58.9 million added to contract funding to cover the estimated cost of increased population growth;
b. £3.8 million added to contract funding to recognise increased superannuation costs of 0.08% from April 2017.
c. £2.0 million added to contract funding to recognise the increased workload resulting from the requirement to bag and label patient records.
d. £1.5 million added to contract funding to recognise the increased workload resulting from the workforce census, completion of which will become a contractual requirement.
2. The Avoiding Unplanned Admissions DES will be discontinued on 31 March 2017. The funding currently attached to that service (£156.7 million) will be added to the global sum.
The DES will be replaced by a contractual requirement for practices to focus on the management of patients with severe frailty. Details of the work that will be required have been published by the GPC.
3. From 2017/18 CQC fees will be reimbursed to practices in full on submission of paid invoices to NHS England or their CCG (under delegated commissioning).
4. £30 million is to be paid to practices to cover increases in medical defence fees for GMS work. This will be paid to practices on the basis of actual (not weighted) lists. The GPC has stated that “GP principals must ensure that the appropriate amount of funding reaches their salaried GP colleagues” and that locum GPs may need to increase their rates to take account of this.
5. Payments under the Learning Disabilities DES will increase from £116 to £140 per health check.
6. From October 2017 new conditions will be introduced into the Extended Hours DES which will mean that practices which close for a half day each week will no longer qualify to deliver the DES.
7. There will be changes to the target groups in respect of seasonal influenza, childhood seasonal influenza, shingles, meningitis and pertussis vaccinations.
8. Sickness cover reimbursement will cease to be discretionary and will become an entitlement. The qualifying criteria based on list size will also be removed and existing GPs within the practice will be able to provide the sickness cover (as is already the case for maternity cover). The amount payable for sickness cover will increase to £1,734.18 per week from the third week onwards.
9. Maternity cover reimbursement will no longer be subject to a pro-rata application.
10. The GPC and NHS Employers have now agreed contractual changes that will help to identify patients with a non-UK issued EHIC or S1 form by means of a self-declaration form. New recurrent investment of £5 million will be added to global sums to support the associated administrative workload.
11. From July 2017 all practices will be contractually required to allow collection of data relating to the National Diabetes Audit and to a selection of agreed indicators no longer in QOF and retired enhanced services.
If you would like to discuss the impact on your practice finances of any of the above issues, please contact Andrew Goddard by telephone on 01704 215450 or by e-mail to email@example.com.