Scores of GP practices risk contract breach over friends and family tests

Scores of GP practices are at risk of receiving contract breach notices because they have failed to submit data on responses to friends and family tests (FFT).

Since April 2015, GP practices have been required to collect FFT responses from patients and submit data to NHS England monthly.

NHS England said that numbers of practices submitting data had risen for the past two months. But 118 practices have 'made no attempt at all to meet their contractual requirements since the implementation of the programme', a spokesman said.

GP leaders in London have warned practices that FFT participation is not optional. Guidance on the Londonwide LMCs website says: 'Please remember that if you do not submit FFT data monthly for three consecutive months you will be in breach of your contract and risk having a breach notice issued to you.

GP friends and family tests

'Please note the FFT is not a one-off exercise. It is an ongoing commitment that is written into your practice contract. Monthly submissions of the data you collect from FFT must be submitted on the 12th working day in the month after the data is collected.'

NHS England has been unable to confirm how many practices have been issued with breach notices over failure to fulfil FFT duties.

A spokesman said: 'While our emphasis is on supporting practices, we have already provided advice to GP service commissioners on the NHS England website, which says that, taking into account the local situation or any mitigating circumstances, they should consider a breach notice for practices that fail to submit data for three months.'

Londonwide LMCs says that if practices are struggling to generate responses to the FFT, they should consider ways of widening participation, such as inviting patients to take part by text or online. Practices are warned that even if they receive no responses they must submit a return via the Calculating Quality Reporting Service (CQRS) system.

Visit Medeconomics for resources to help practices implement the FFT

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Houses of parliament

Evidence for mandatory NHS staff COVID-19 jabs 'not good enough', says Lords committee

Evidence to support government plans to require all NHS staff in patient-facing roles...

Dr Farah Jameel

Practices 'need substantial support' to step up Omicron response, warns BMA GP chair

General practice is already facing unsustainable pressure and will need 'substantial...

JCVI COVID-19 immunisation chair Professor Wei Shen Lim

JCVI backs immediate expansion of COVID-19 vaccination to combat Omicron variant

The COVID-19 booster campaign should expand immediately to people aged 18-39 and...

Close up of hand holding sample tube with 'Omicron' handwritten on side

Government urged to 'free up' GP practices and expand steps to control Omicron

GPs have called for immediate action such as suspension of QOF to allow practices...

(Photo: Mike Kemp/Getty Images)

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

GPonline provides an overview of the key guidance relating to coronavirus, including...

External wall of GP surgery with wording 'medical centre'

‘Utterly toxic’: GPs speak out over abuse and physical attacks on practice teams

GPs have condemned a rise in verbal and physical attacks on practice staff - warning...