Accelerated Access to Records Programme update
Following on from the guidance that GPC England (GPCE) shared with practices last Friday, we are expecting to continue dialogue with NHS England in the coming week to ascertain how practices can be best supported in the lead up to the 31st October go-live date and beyond.
Practices are strongly advised to carry out a practice Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) if they have not already done so, and may wish to use the BMA’s DPIA as a template. This can be found here alongside a suite of resources (listed below) which practices can use in helping to prepare for prospective records access to their patients;
GPCE remains committed to supporting practices as they navigate this programme and will refresh and cascade resources on a regular basis.
Read our full guidance here
Update on negotiations relating to DDRB recommended 6% uplift
In 2023/24, the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Pay Review Body (DDRB) recommended a 6% award to salaried GPs, which was subsequently extended to all non-ARRS salaried general practice staff by the Department of Health and Social Care in July.
This is separate to the Agenda for Change (AfC) 5% uplift, which was agreed with the government by the AfC unions earlier this year. In April 2023, a 2.1% uplift was included in the contract funding for 2023/24 to cover ‘staffing expenses (not related to GP contractors)’. The DHSC and NHS England (NHSE) therefore applied another 3.9% uplift to the staffing expenses element of the GP contract to bring the total uplift for 2023/24 to 6%. NHSE has confirmed that this element of funding is calculated to contribute to both the costs of salary, and on-costs, such as Employers’ National Insurance contributions, Employers’ Superannuation payments – into their employees’ pensions – and other staff benefits.
The additional 3.9% of funding will be distributed via global sum, and an eight-month payment should be made in November 2023 (April – November 2023 inclusive).
Global sum (payment per weighted patient)
2022/23 – £99.70
Original 2023/24 - £102.28
Uplifted 2023/24 - £104.73
GPC England (GPCE) also requested that the Trainer’s Grant, which did not form part of the DDRB recommendations this year, was uplifted by 6% – this has been agreed. A further GPCE request to uplift the SFE payment levels for sickness and parental leave, in line with trying to help address the gender pay gap, was not agreed.
In addition, DHSC and NHSE have applied an increase of 4.24% to the profit element of the dispensing fee scale. This funding is reflected in the October release.
Please contact us on email@example.com if you have any questions.
Read a summary of the changes
Best Practice Show
The BMA had a dedicated theatre at the Best Practice Show held this week at the NEC Birmingham, with a programme focussed on the most pressing issues facing sessional GPs and GP partners, including safe working and workload management, patient access to records, the future of general practice, GP contracts and more.
On Wednesday David Wrigley, GPC England deputy chair, delivered a focused and practical session on how practices could prepare for the Accelerates Access to Records roll out, and highlighted the resources and guidance produced by the BMA to support them.
There were a number of other talks from GPC England and the Sessional GPs Committee, with a closing session on ‘General Practice – what’s next?’ with an expert panel with Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer (Chair, GPC England), Dr Mark Steggles (Chair, Sessional GPs Committee) and Dr Samira Anane (Deputy Chair, GPC England), discussing the current hot topics and themes that emerged from GP attendees across the course of the conference. Read the programme for the two days here
New BMA guidance for sessional GPs
The BMA’s Sessional GPs Committee and GPC England have produced new guidance and support for managing the workload and overtime for salaried GPs. GPs and practices across the country are working hard, to support the delivery of more than a million appointments every day. This toolkit builds on the BMA’s existing Safer Working Guidance which was published last year.
It is essential that we seek to retain the GPs that we have in our practice teams, and to give all GPs, irrespective of their contractual status, access to advice and support they need. We hope this guidance may encourage more open conversations where needed, around sustainable workload and demand management.
However, let us be clear: the real solution here lies with the Government, in making sure that general practice has the resources required to safely and effectively meet patient demand in the first place. Read more here
LMC England Conference 2023 – reminder to register
If you haven't already registered for the LMC England Conference to be held 23-24 November, and have not received your confirmation email please registerhere. Note that the deadline to register is Friday 10 November. If you have any queries please contact Karen Day on KDay@bma.org.uk
DWP Fit note guidance
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has published new guidance for GPs and other healthcare professionals using fit notes (statements of fitness for work) and GPCE was involved in its development. Fit note - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
We continue to encourage practices to focus on their own team’s wellbeing and take time to reflect on what can be done to protect it (this will also meet the requirements of QOF quality improvement project on staff wellbeing). We have produced a document which includes some tools for improving workload and safe working. A range of wellbeing and support services are also available to doctors, from the BMA’s counselling and peer support services, NHS practitioner health service, Samaritans and Doctors in Distress. See also our poster with 10 tips to help maintain and support wellbeing.
GPC England committee pages and guidance for practices
Contact us: info.GPC@bma.org.uk
Read the last GP bulletin: Accelerated access to records update | DDRB pay uplift | new guidance for sessional GPs