The guidance is available on NHS Employers' website, however the technical information that accompanies the guidance has yet to be produced.
There are very few changes to the contract for 2016/17 and in many instances the new guidance simply refers practices to last year's guidance.
There are minor changes to the unplanned admissions enhanced service to clarify the timeframes for care plan reviews and the information required by practice accountants to calculate GP earnings has been amended to reflect the change in enhanced services that happened in 2015/16.
Patient online contractual requirements from 2014/15 and 2015/16 also continue unchanged. These cover referral management, online ordering of repeat prescriptions, interoperable records, patient access to their record and electronic appointment booking.
There are no changes to the QOF for 2016/17.
Medeconomics has summarised the guidance on its Contracts page in the following articles:
- Alcohol-related risk reduction GMS contract requirements
- Named accountable GP for patients - GMS contract requirements
- Publication of GP earnings under the 2016/17 GMS contract
- Learning disabilities enhanced service requirements 2016/17
- Extended hours enhanced service requirements 2016/17
- Avoiding unplanned admissions enhanced service 2016/17
- Minor surgery enhanced service 2016/17
- Providing online access to patient records
Vaccination and immunisations
The item of service fee for vaccinations has increased to £9.80 per dose. All vaccination and immunisation programmes will continue in 2016/17, with the following changes:
- The infant dose of meningococcal C vaccination with be removed. Due to the two-year payment lag, the funding will be removed from April 2018.
- Vaccination of babies against meningitis B will continue but paracetamol will no longer be centrally supplied and there will be no new catch-up (babies eligible under the catch-up element of the programme in 2015/16 remain eligible for their booster dose in 2016/17).
- The meningococcal ACWY 18 years vaccination programme will change to allow for opportunistic vaccination of 19-25 year old non-freshers who self present for vaccination.
- The pertussis programme will be expanded to allow the vaccination of pregnant women from 20 weeks in to the pregnancy.
Service specifications for vaccination programmes can be found on NHS England's website.
Further information to come
NHS England and the GPC have agreed a new contractual requirement for practices to record data on the availability of evening and weekend opening for routine appointments.
This data will be collected every six months until 2020/21. The process for doing this will be 'as simple and efficient as possible' and more details will be made available later in the year.
- Arrangements are being developed for identifying patients with European Health Insurance Cards, S1 or S2 forms. This will be done at the point of registration through patient self-declaration. It is expected that this will be implemented by December 2016.
- Practices should continue to undertake work and code activity in relation to activity no longer in the QOF and retired enhanced services - and to facilitate data collection in these areas. The guidance says it is not intended for this information to be used for performance management purposes.
- NHS England will set a maximum indicative rate for locum GP pay, which may have some regional variation. The electronic declaration system will be amended to include recording of the number of instances where a practice pays a locum more than the maximum rate.
- Practices are also 'encouraged' to expand their use of online services. More information on this aspect of the contract can be found here.