Accelerated Access to Records Programme update
Following on from the additional guidance that we shared with practices last Friday about the imminent contractual requirement to give all patients online access to their prospective records from 31 October 2023, we have updated and published some further resources.
Practices are strongly advised to carry out a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) if they have not already done so, and may wish to use the BMA’s DPIA as a template. If your DPIA suggests there may be a high risk to patients, then we advise you to separately inform the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and your ICB commissioner.
We have provided a template letter for the ICO which you can use to flag high risks associated with providing prospective online access and therefore stating that the GP, as data controller, is unable to go ahead with processing.
We have also provided a template letter for your ICB team which includes questions that you may wish to ask your commissioner based around your potential concerns.
If you have not ‘gone live’ and wish to make use of EMIS’ offer to bulk provision access at a later date, we recommend you contact your ICB primary care IT team ahead of 31 October 2023.
We strongly recommend that you inform your patients regarding the provision of access to let them know it is happening (guidelines on how to do this in ‘Reference A’ within the FAQs)
We would encourage practices to engage with and agree a way forward with your local commissioning team to ensure they are fully informed and updated of the practice plan, including any bulk communications you may plan to send to patients.
We have also issued a joint statement with Violence Against Women and Girls organisations, including Refuge, Women’s Aid, and EVAW (End Violence Against Women Coalition), highlighting outstanding concerns we have around the implications of automatic prospective online access for domestic abuse survivors. Read more here
Read our full guidance here
PCSE Seniority Payments Reconciliation Exercise 2023
Some practices may recently have received letters from PCSE regarding the Seniority Payments Reconciliation Exercise 2023.
Seniority Payments used to be made to GP partners and were based on length of NHS service and received profit. The seniority scheme closed to new members on 1 April 2014, and was then phased out, with the last payments made by 31 March 2020. Seniority funding was then diverted to Global Sum, as part of the 2013/14 Contract Agreement.
The actual entitlement to seniority pay depended on the Final Seniority Factor [FSF] and as there was a time-lag in calculating this, the FSF for financial years 2017/18, 2018/19, and 2019/20 have only just been published. NHS England and PCSE are now reviewing the adjustments made for those years and will be contacting practices once this has occurred.
Current partners should advise their accountants of the information that has been received from PCSE, as the amounts can be challenged via the on-line form link within the letter received from PCSE. In a limited number of cases, there will be a need to liaise with retired colleagues, and the matter may not always be covered by written arrangements.
GPCE recommends that practices first ask their accountants for advice in terms of PCSE figures, raising a query if appropriate, which may not be a value-for-money exercise if the variance is small.
If you have any queries regarding this process, please contact us on email@example.com
Please find attached our letter to practices which we would encourage you to share.
GPCE and RCN joint Statement on GP practice staff pay uplift 2023/24
GPC England (GPCE) and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and have issued a joint statement to alert their respective members to the details of the recently announced 6% pay increase for salaried general practice staff. The way the expenses uplift is applied leads to some inequity amongst GP practices. This means some practices will not receive enough additional funding to cover an entire 6% uplift for all salaried staff members.
Securing recurrent pay uplifts for all practice staff is vital for the future success of General Practice. Key to successfully negotiating with the Government in forthcoming contract negotiations 2024/25 and 2025/2026 is making the case that staff should be fairly paid and benefit from rewarding working conditions. The GPCE and RCN are committed to working closely together to ensure appropriate and fair funding for Nurses in General Practice as an integral part of the General Practice Team. Read the statement here
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 latest GPCE newsletter: Accelerated access to records programme | seniority payments reconciliation exercise | pay uplift joint statement