Practices to be paid £16 per appointment for out-of-area patients

Practices will be awarded £15.87 per in-hours GP consultation and £60 per home visit for patients registered away from where they live, under the out-of-area registration DES.

Consultation: £16 per visit for out-of-area patient (Photo: JH Lancy)
Consultation: £16 per visit for out-of-area patient (Photo: JH Lancy)

The enhanced service, designed by NHS England, will support the updated choice of GP practice arrangements that will be introduced from 5 January 2015.

From this date, all practices will be able to register patients who live outside of their traditional boundaries, without being required to provide home visits or out-of-hours care.

Practices will not be obliged to participate in the scheme, and will remain able to refuse registrations from out-of-area patients. They will also not be obliged to offer home visits for patients registered elsewhere.

The GPC warned it had 'lots of concerns' about the plans and said practices would have to 'carefully consider' whether the remuneration on offer was 'enough to cover their costs'.

200,000-patient forecast 

NHS England expects around 0.4% of the population – 200,000 people – to register with a practice outside of their local area, ‘although this might grow over time’.

Any patient who requires ‘urgent and local care’ and cannot reasonably travel to their out-of-area practice will be able to access primary medical services nearer their home, under the new enhanced service.

Practices participating in the DES will be expected to provide home visits to registered out-of-area patients in their appointed boundary area, where it is clinically required.

If any practice chooses not to sign up for the DES, neighbouring practices that have signed up may have to provide services for wider areas.

In such circumstances, national pricing does not apply and would be ‘agreed locally’, NHS England said.

Review after 12 months

Patients registered out-of-area will be given a review to decide whether it would be more appropriate for them to be registered with a practice nearer their home, should they arrange at least four consultations under the DES within a 12-month period.

This will also be triggered if they receive two home visits within the same period.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘There is absolutely no obligation for practices to have anything to do with this at all, either in registering out-of-area patients or in providing a service to those who cannot get to their newly registered practice.'

He added: 'Those practices that have lost patients, but are then invited to look after them again when they are too sick to travel to their new practice, will have understandable concerns about doing so.'

Only practices that currently maintain an open list will be eligible to sign up to the DES. Existing GP health centres and walk-in centres that already provide unregistered patient services will be ineligible.

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

Breakthrough for state GP indemnity as second MDO agrees terms on historic liabilities

Breakthrough for state GP indemnity as second MDO agrees terms on historic liabilities

A second medical defence organisation (MDO) has agreed terms for the government to...

Labour pledges to boost GP training places by 50%

Labour pledges to boost GP training places by 50%

The Labour party has announced plans to increase the number of GP trainees in England...

Northern Ireland unveils £27m GP funding boost for 2019/20

Northern Ireland unveils £27m GP funding boost for 2019/20

Investment in general practice in Northern Ireland will rise by £26.76m during the...

'How I survived a bewildering ten-month investigation by the GMC'

'How I survived a bewildering ten-month investigation by the GMC'

How does the experience of a GMC investigation impact on the lives of doctors? One...

90% of patients would recommend their GP practice to friends or family

90% of patients would recommend their GP practice to friends or family

Nine in 10 people would recommend their GP practice to a friend or family member,...

NHS documentary spells out threat to future of the health service

NHS documentary spells out threat to future of the health service

A documentary film appearing in cinemas across the UK next month tells how the NHS...