All GP practices should join a network by June, says NHS England

All GP practices in England should be part of a primary care network by the end of June 2019 at the latest, NHS England has said.

Practices to join networks (Photo: iStock)
Practices to join networks (Photo: iStock)

As part of its operational plans for 2019/20 NHS England has instructed CCGs to spend £1.50 per patient each year to ‘develop and maintain’ primary care networks, ‘so that the target of 100% coverage is achieved as soon as is possible and by 30 June 2019 at the latest’.

The plans adds: ‘This investment should be planned for recurrently and needs to be provided in cash rather than in kind. More guidance on the future direction for primary care networks will be available soon.’

The NHS long-term plan, published earlier this month, revealed that GP practices will be expected to sign ‘network contracts’ that will pool funding and link them with other practices and community services across patient populations of between 30,000 and 50,000.

Network contracts

The contracts will work as ‘an extension of [practices’] current contract', the plan said, although there was no mention about when they would be introduced.

GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey confirmed to GPonline earlier this month that the new contracts were part of current negotiations on the GP contract. He suggested that the network deal would not be obligatory.

'Essentially this will be a contract that builds on practices' current contract and enables them to work across a network of 30-50,000 patients. The network contract is the vehicle to enable practices to do this in a supportive way,’ Dr Vautrey said.

Partnership model

‘We would hope that once we have agreed the changes practices would want to do it.'

The GP partnership review, which was also published this month, backed primary care networks as a way to help preserve the GP partnership model. It suggested that networks should be set up in a way that helps make constituent practices more sustainable and enables GP partners to address workload.

The partnership review also suggested that primary care networks should partner with, or become, training hubs to ensure the delivery of training and education in primary care for GPs and other staff.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Redacting information from medical records - advice for GPs

Redacting information from medical records - advice for GPs

MDU medico-legal adviser Dr Ellie Mein provides advice for GPs on reacting information...

Medicine shortages set to continue despite Brexit delay

Medicine shortages set to continue despite Brexit delay

Medicine shortages are unlikely to improve as a result of Brexit being delayed healthcare...

Doctors less likely to be investigated for 'one-off' mistakes under new GMC rules

Doctors less likely to be investigated for 'one-off' mistakes under new GMC rules

The GMC is introducing new measures to reduce the number of full investigations in...

RCGP revokes Sultan of Brunei's honorary title over anti-LGBTQ laws

RCGP revokes Sultan of Brunei's honorary title over anti-LGBTQ laws

The RCGP has revoked the honorary title it awarded the Sultan of Brunei following...

Financial considerations for primary care networks

Financial considerations for primary care networks

Specialist accountant Laurence Slavin highlights the financial issues that practices...

Number of CCGs could be cut by 75% by April 2020

Number of CCGs could be cut by 75% by April 2020

Measures to cut the number of CCGs in England by more than three quarters could be...