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It’s here! Introducing the new, improved GP contract 2019

Still practising

Chris Preece

Monday, 25 February 2019

(Imagine this blog is written on one of those flyers where the glossiness is directly proportional to the insincerity.)

golden contract_AdobeStock_53307331_v2.jpgA bright new future awaits! Coming soon for 2019, a stunning new upgrade for General Practice! The new GP Contract launches this April and boasts a raft of exciting and innovative new features, including:

Network Ready

New for this year, we introduce The Power Of The Network – an exciting new feature available to all users whether they like it or not - just like when U2 released that album onto people’s phones. (It is possible to opt out, but practices will still have to engage with the network to ensure their patients receive any services supplied – and they’ll lose access to any associated funding).

Each network will be a membership organisation (of practices) covering 30-50,000 patients, with a geographically contiguous area. A GP from every network will need to be offered up for sacrifice stand as Clinical Director, acting as the main point of contact with CCGs and the wider NHS. This role will be funded equivalent to roughly one day a week (dependent upon network size).

Exciting new employment options! Funding* for additional roles is provided over the next five years: Pharmacists and social prescribers for 2019! Physiotherapists and Physicians Associates for 2020! Paramedics for 2021! Who needs more GPs when you can render them almost obsolete with other medical professionals you’ll probably struggle to employ?

(*Networks will cover the first 70% of costs, with practices providing the rest, with the exception of social prescribers, who will be wholly funded.)

The Power of the Network will be applied to existing extended hours access, but also offer enhanced health in care homes, anticipatory care, support for early cancer diagnosis, prevention of cardiovascular disease and steps to reduce inequalities – watch this space for more details in the future! (Because we’re still working on what all this means ourselves…)

Digital Delights

No more paper, and no more fax machines!  All records are to become digitised, and patients will have access to their full medical record online by April 2020, including the ability to add their own information. Thus, solving decades of hand wringing over confidentiality, as people inadvertently share their passwords to absolutely everything ever written about them.

NHS 111 will now be able to book appointments for you! Practices will have to reserve one appointment for every 3,000 patients daily for NHS111 to book into directly, spread evenly throughout the day.

Consult online! All practices will offer online consultations by April 2020 – though we still haven’t decided what that will look like, or what it really means. Is it email, Skype, AI, magic? Whatever it is, one thing is certain, it absolutely, definitely, without doubt, will be a better option than just phoning. Maybe.

Every Penny Counts

A shiny new state backed indemnity scheme begins in April 2019! This will cover all NHS work by GPs and staff. Doctors will still need to retain cover for dealings with the GMC, advice regarding complaints and private work – those whose existing cover is claims based might also have to look at purchasing run off cover as well. There will be a permanent funding adjustment to the contract to cover this, and future increases will be covered by the state, presumably by carrying out a series of increasingly audacious bank robberies.

More Pay! – There will be an uplift of 2% for GPs and staff. In addition, there will be an extra £20 million to help cover the cost of endless SAR requests, £30 million to make appointments available for NHS111, and a bit more for some vaccines too.

End privatisation! GP practices will no longer be able to host or advertise private providers that offer services that are already provided by the NHS. Thus, practices could theoretically eradicate such providers entirely by the simple expedient of purchasing all the advertising space in the UK.

Public Shaming! Anyone with the immense good fortune/ insanely long hours to be earning over £150,000 will be required to make this public. This is to give much needed assistance to struggling billionaire media moguls who can then publish this information as something for their readers to tut at on a slow news day.

Look to the Future!

Pre-order your new contract today and embrace the future of General Practice. (Note: pre-orders not actually available, it’s being imposed no matter what - embracing however remains entirely optional.) We know that General Practice has been calling out for additional support for many years now, and this new contract offers just what you’ve been seeking.

This is the contract for that hub-based, digital-led, GP scarce, data insecure future we’ve all been waiting for!

(Besides, as the saying goes, let a man get hungry enough, and he’ll eat anything.)

Author's Image

Chris Preece

Chris has worked as a GP Partner in North Yorkshire since 2004, and still relishes the peculiar challenge of never quite knowing what the next person through the door is going to present with. He was the chair of his local Practice Based Commissioning Group, and when this evolved into a CCG he joined the Governing Body, ultimately leaving in April 2015. He continues to work with the CCG in an advisory capacity. When not being consumed by all things medical, Chris occupies himself by writing, gaming, and indulging the whims of his children. He has previously written and performed in a number of pantomimes and occupied the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. Tragically, his patients no longer tell him he looks too young to be a doctor.
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