In stark contrast to last year’s imposed contract deal, the GPC under its new chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul has successfully negotiated a contract deal which health secretary Jeremy Hunt heralded as a return to ‘proper family doctors’.
GPs will have to monitor out-of-hours services in their area and report any concerns.
As part of the core contract, practices from April will ensure there is a named accountable GP assigned to each patient aged 75 or older.
GPs will have to co-ordinate a multidisciplinary care package for these patients and will be accountable for their care within core contract hours, which have remained unchanged.
Practices will have three months from April to inform each patient, through the most appropriate means, of the name of their accountable GP. Informing a patient at their next routine consultation will be acceptable.
GP practices will have to provide online access to summary care records by 31 March 2015. GP practices will have to allow online repeat prescription ordering and online appointment booking by April 2014.
GP practices will be required to provide an automated upload of their summary information to the summary care record, or have published plans in place to achieve this, by 31 March 2015.
From October 2014 all GP practices in England will be able to register patients from outside their boundaries but they will not be obliged to provide homes visits to these patients. NHS England will be responsible for arranging in-hours urgent medical care when needed at or near home for patients who register with a practice away from home.
All GP practices will have to display the outcome of their CQC inspection in their waiting rooms and on the practice website.
Mr Hunt said: ‘We are bringing back named GPs for the vulnerable elderly. This means proper family doctors, able to focus on giving elderly people the care they need and prevent unnecessary trips to hospital. Rigorous new inspections of GP surgeries will mean every local person will know whether they are getting the care they deserve.
‘This is about fixing the long-term pressures on our A&E services, empowering hard-working doctors and improving care for those with the greatest need.’