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Extended hours access enhanced service 2017/18

A summary of what is involved in the extended hours health check scheme ES for England.

The extended hours access DES will continue unchanged until 30 September 2017.

New conditions will be introduced from 1 October 2017 which will mean that practices who regularly close for a half day, on a weekly basis, will not ordinarily qualify for the DES. This article will be updated to reflect any further details on what happens from 1 October when they become available.

Purpose

For practices to provide appointments at times outside of core contracted hours to allow patients to attend appointments at a time when it is more convenient for them.

Applies

For a year from 1 April 2017. Practices must agree their extended hours arrangements with commissioners and begin providing this service by 1 July 2017.

Payment

£1.90 per patient. Paid in quarterly instalments on the last day of the quarter until 31 March 2018.

Requirements for 2017/18

  • Clinical sessions are provided outside of core contracted hours (8am-6.30pm for GMS practices and the hours set out in PMS contracts).
  • Opening hours must be in line with patient preferences either established through the GP patients survey, patient participation groups, the Friends and Family Test or other feedback.
  • The amount of extended access is the same as for this ES last year - 30 minutes per 1,000 registered patient using the following formula: additional minutes = a practice's CRP/1,000 x 30
  • Routine appointments must be provided in continuous periods of at least 30 minutes and in line with patient preferences, this can include face-to-face, telephone consultations, using other technology or a mix.
  • Extended hours access must be provided on a regular basis in full each week.
  • When a practice provides out-of-hours services it must not limit access to any of these clinical sessions to patients it would have been obliged to see under out of hours arrangements.
  • Practices can deliver the ES for their own practice or it can be offered as a group of practices.
  • NHS England will not pay PMS or APMS practices under this ES for any period of extended hours currently covered by the core hours in their contract.
  • The practice must cooperate with NHS England in reviewing its arrangements to ensure additional hours meet the needs of patients.
  • There should be arrangements for how NHS England will monitor performance and delivery of this service.
  • The practice should make patients aware of the availability of extended access.
  • Special clinics cannot be counted as extended access.
  • Practices should not use extended access sessions to deliver non-NHS work.

Further information

You can view the full guidance on this enhanced service here. This links to 2015/16 guidance, the last time full details for this enhanced service was published, it has rolled over unchanged each year since then.

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