'Enhanced' GP deal boosts practice income and patient outcomes

Midlands GP practices could earn £80,000 a year on average from a scheme that commissioners say has improved early detection of hypertension, AF and diabetes and saved money within its first 12 months.

GP consultation (Photo: iStock)
GP consultation (Photo: iStock)

The primary care commissioning framework (PCCF) was launched in 2016 by Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, to improve care for a population with high levels of deprivation and disease prevalence.

Under the programme patients are provided with access to a greater range of enhanced services contracted from GP practices.

The framework consists of 10 standards addressing access and experience, outcomes and variation, partnerships and equity, quality and workforce, and wellbeing, developed with practices and patients.

Primary care standards

The standards cover areas including primary care provision, access to multidisciplinary team, priority for careers, CV disease, mental health, cancer awareness, and medicines management.

Practices that meet the standards are paid up to £11.50 per head of population - around £80,000 for an average practice - with 30% based on achievement and 70% based on meeting requirements including access during core hours and agreements on data collection.

Commissioners said that in the first year the programme had led to significant improvements, with dentification of patients with hypertension, AF and diabetes increased, extending life expectancy and saving money.

Improved identification of patients with hypertension across the area could lead to up to 530 extra years of life, the CCG said.

Preventive care

The PCCF has also seen an increase in patients identified at risk of a fall, leading to reductions in hospital admissions. A ‘substantial’ increase has also been identified in patient contacts with a health professional in primary care, and a reduction in variation between practices.

CCG governing body member and local GP Dr Ian Sykes said: ‘The PCCF was designed by primary care, for primary care. Practices are now working much more closely together, are now offering more services to their patients, quality of care has improved, and inequity between practices has been reduced. It has allowed the CCG to invest in primary care, yet still remain in balance, despite the current financial challenge.’

Over the next two years practices will move towards more collaborative working with each other and other services, such as pharmacies and community services.

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