The GPC said that, following discussions on the issue, NHS England had 'listened to our concerns and therefore changed its position'.
In an update sent to members, GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: '[NHS England] has made it clear that it is not expecting clinical peer review to apply to all practices or referrals nor will these plans be mandatory for all CCGs.'
Earlier this year NHS England produced guidance for CCGs which said they were 'expected to work with their GPs to implement internal prospective clinical peer review for general practices by September 2017'. In response, the GPC said practices were not contractually obliged to engage with such schemes and pressed NHS England to think again about the plans.
In his letter to members today Dr Vautrey said that the GPC was aware of local peer review schemes that were already underway, but that these were schemes 'where the workload is resourced and they have been agreed with the local medical committee and practices'.
'Where developed in the future, GPC will continue to recommend local schemes should retrospectively reflect on the quality of referrals, be voluntary, properly resourced and take a supportive approach,' Dr Vautrey added.