NHS General Medical Services (GMS) contract changes for 2017/18


Simon Misiewicz

11th November 2017
NHS Employers and the British Medical Association’s General Practitioners Committee (GPC) have announced changes to the General Medical Services (GMS) contract in England for 2017/18.

By Simon Misiewicz

How will the GMS contract changes for 2017/18 affect you?

Are you focusing on the changes to make more money for your GP practice?

The GMS contract changes means that there will be an additional £238.7 million pumped into the service. The biggest changes to note were:

  • An increase in the payment for Learning Disabilities Health Check Scheme from £116.00 to £140.00 per health check
  • NHS England and GPC have also agreed the new global sum figure for 2017/18. The value per weighted patient is set to rise from £80.59 in 2016/17 to £85.35 in 2017/18, a rise of 5.9 per cent
  • GP retention scheme: In 2016, under an interim scheme, the practice payment rose from £59.18 to £76.92 per session, an increase of approximately 30%. NHS England will fund the 2017 scheme wholly from within the primary care allocation budget and the practice payment and professional expenses supplement will remain the same as the 2016 scheme
  • Payments for indemnity costs that will be made based on registered patients at 51.6p per patient
 Any retainers on the 2016 Retained Doctors Scheme will continue under these arrangements until 30 June 2019 after which time they will default to the new scheme. Retainees who have been accepted on to the Retained Doctor Scheme 2016 (where the application form has been approved by the NHS England DCO) but who are not in-post before 31 March 2017, will be accepted onto the GP Retention scheme without the need to re-apply.

A change in the value of a Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) point as a result of a Contractor Population Index (CPI) adjustment. There will be no changes this year to the number of QOF points, indicators or thresholds.

Changes to the GP Retention Scheme with an additional £1 million investment, which I will discuss in another article.

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The Extended Hours Access DES will continue unchanged until 30 September 2017. New conditions will be introduced from 1 October 2017 which will mean that practices who regularly close for a half day, on a weekly basis, will not ordinarily qualify for the DES.
This change is to support the joint commitment to ensure locally responsive, safe and appropriate access to general practice for all patients in England during contracted hours.

Local Medical Committees should be integral partners in working with local commissioners in ensuring practices are fulfilling their contractual requirements.

A contractual change will be introduced from 1 July 2017, at the earliest, to allow prisoners to register with a practice before they leave prison.
The agreement includes the timely transfer of clinical information from the prison to the practice, with an emphasis on medication history and substance misuse management plans, to enable better care when a new patient first presents at the practice.
You can read the letter about the GMS contract changes in the letter by Rosamond Roughton Here.

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