I am today updating the House on the outcome of the negotiations on the primary care contract for GPs between the General Practitioners Committee of the British Medical Association and NHS England.
For the first time a new five-year contract has been agreed for general practice across England which includes billions of extra investment for improved access to general practice.
The contract for 2019-20 will deliver the most ambitious reform in general practice in a generation and is the first major step forward in delivering The NHS long term plan. It aims to bring 20,000 extra staff into general practice by 2023-24 including pharmacists and social prescribing link workers. This will free up GPs to spend more time with patients who need them most.
It will establish new primary care networks across the country to ensure the NHS is fit for the future for patients, their families and staff. This is part of a record investment in primary medical and community services, which is set to increase by over £4.5 billion by 2023-24, and rise as a share of the overall NHS budget.
The contract will also protect the general practice workforce against rising indemnity costs by introducing a new and centrally-funded clinical negligence scheme for general practice from April 2019. The Department also intends to establish the arrangements for an existing liabilities scheme in April 2019, subject to satisfactory discussions with the medical defence organisations.
Other key elements of the contract include:
a record £8.9 billion in funding in 2019-20,
a 4% funding increase each year for the next five years,
a review of GP access to address unwarranted variation in patients being able to book an appointment with their GPs,
all patients able to access their records digitally by April 2020 and have the option of web/video consultations by April 2021,
more joined up services as 111 will be able to directly book GP appointments for callers,
greater transparency as GPs earning over £150,000 per annum will need to declare their earnings, and
streamlining of the quality and outcomes framework system with more clinically appropriate indicators to deliver focused improvements in the quality of care.
We understand that NHS England will apply the provision to personal medical services and alternative provider medical services where appropriate.