In a letter setting out financial details of the new five-year GP contract for the coming year NHS England announced that the global sum price per weighted patient will rise from £88.96 in 2018/19 to £89.88 in 2019/20.
Practices will be paid £1.761 per weighted patient for signing up to the network contract directed enhanced service (DES) by 1 July 2019. This will be paid in monthly instalments from July onwards. NHS England said £105m in total had been allocated to fund this element of the network contract DES.
The letter, sent by NHS England’s director for new business models and primary care contracts groups Ed Waller, also outlined plans for a ‘one-off payment’ to cover indemnity inflation arising in 2018/19, which is expected to be paid next month. Further information on this is expected to be published in due course.
The value of a QOF point will increase from £179.26 in 2018/19 to £187.74 in 2019/20.
The global sum increase in 2019/20 includes a one-off adjustment to core funding to cover the cost of the state-backed indemnity scheme that will start in April.
GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey told GPonline: 'With an overall 1.4% new investment to the core practice contract, which includes a 1% rise to global sum and an additional £1.76 per patient paid directly to practices through the statement of financial entitlements, this means practices will have an extra £2.68 per weighted patient in 2019/20.
'Together with other increases to immunisation fees and the removal of indemnity expenses this means practices will be able to deliver a 2% uplift to practice staff pay. In addition £231m of new investment will be made in the coming year to support workforce expansion and the activity of practices within primary care networks. This is far better than the more than a decade of austerity practices have had to cope with.'
Last month, BMA leaders confirmed that the new GP contract deal will increase practice funding by almost £1bn over five years, with a further £1.8bn to support the formation of primary care networks, which all GP practices will be expected to join this year.
Along with the 1.4% increase in 2019/20, core funding is due to rise by by 2.3% in 2020/21, 2021/22 will deliver a 2.8% uplift, 2022/23 will see a 2.5% uplift and in 2023/24 funding will increase by 2.7%.
The network contract DES will go live in July 2019. Alongside the £1.76 per weighted patient that practices will receive for taking part, five other funding streams will be paid directly to the network's 'nominated provider', which could be a federation or one of the practices, although only four of these will be available in 2019/20.
Further details of primary care network entitlements will be included in the network contract DES directions and supporting guidance, 'which will follow shortly', Mr Waller's letter said. However the additional funding streams will include the extended access DES funding, which will transfer into the network contract DES.
Another funding stream will cover recruiting 'at least one social prescribing link worker and a clinical pharmacist' in 2019/20. In future years it will allow groups of practices to employ 'an army of 20,000 more staff' - including physiotherapists, paramedics and physician associates, NHS England has said. Networks will also receive payments to cover admin costs and funding for a clinical lead post, who should be a local GP.
Each network is expected to cover around 30,000 to 50,000 patients.