Boundary pilot guidance sets out practice list reforms

GP practices will be allowed to close their lists and continue to provide additional and enhanced services under changes proposed by the DH.

Dr Vautrey: 'Practices had difficulties closing lists and opening them – this will make it more straightforward'
Dr Vautrey: 'Practices had difficulties closing lists and opening them – this will make it more straightforward'

Guidance published on Wednesday ahead of the rollout of pilots to trial GP practice boundary reforms sets out a series of proposed changes to rules governing practice lists.

Pilots in London, Manchester and Nottingham will allow patients to register as ‘out-of-area’ patients at practices close to their place of work.

They will also allow patients to remain registered at a practice near their home but have consultations with one of the practices in the pilots as a ‘day patient’.

The guidance sets out information for PCT clusters on how the pilots should operate, the type of information patients will need and how to set inner and outer practice boundaries for GPs taking part.

It also sets out plans to reform practice list regulations, increasing flexibility for practices over list closure. The changes aim to strip away incentives under current rules for practices to declare themselves ‘open but full’ to avoid the penalties attached to having a closed list.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘This was part of the GMS contract agreement – to make rules on practice lists far more flexible.

‘Practices had difficulties closing lists and opening them – it was punitive and bureaucratic and this is to make it more straightforward.’

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