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2015/16 GMS contract and funding changes

Medeconomics outlines what GMS practices in England need to do under the 2015/16 contract and the changes to funding.

The changes to the 2015/16 contract will give every patient in England a named GP (picture: iStock)
The changes to the 2015/16 contract will give every patient in England a named GP (picture: iStock)

Requirements for practices 

From the 1 April 2015, the following changes come into effect for practices in England under the GMS contract.

  • All patients should have a named GP who is responsible for coordinating their care. You can find more details here.
  • Practices will be expected to publish the details of average earnings of the GPs in their practice (partners and salaried GPs) on the practice website by 31 March 2016. There are more details here.
  • The patient participation and alcohol enhanced services will end, with the money being transferred into core funding. This means all practices must have a patient participation group and screen new patients for alcohol misuse.
  • The unplanned admissions enhanced service will continue but there will be a reduction in the levels of reporting required. Details of the service requirements for this ES in 2015/16.
  • There are some changes to the 'at-risk' groups covered by the facilitating timely diagnosis and support for people with dementia enhanced service. Details of the service requirements are here.
  • The extended hours and learning disabilities enhanced services will be extended and unchanged for a further year.
  • There will be no changes to any indicators or thresholds in the QOF, but 'clinically appropriate' changes have been made. The value of a QOF point will be adjusted to take account of relative changes in practice list size (see below). Details of changes to the QOF for 2015/16 are here.
  • Patients will have access to more detailed information from their patient records online and practices must ensure a larger proportion of appointments are bookable online. Read more about providing access to records online here.
  • Reimbursement to practices for the cost of maternity and paternity leave locums (or in-house cover) - see 'funding changes' below for detail on this.
  • Some armed forces personnel who are at home for long periods of time will be allowed to register with a GP for up to two years instead of the three months that is currently the case. Funding will be the same as for any other registered patient during this period.
  • A 15% reduction in seniority payments as agreed in 2014/15.

Other details from the contract negotiations

  • NHS Employers, NHS England and the GPC have committed to work together to address workforce issues affecting practices, focusing on supporting GPs to remain in and return to the profession.
  • A commitment from NHS England to work with the BMA to develop a national strategy to develop GP premises and the primary care estate.

Funding changes

  • Global sum funding for GMS contracts will rise by 3% per patient from April - to £75.77 per patient. The increase implements the 1.16% overall GP funding uplift announced by the government in March as well as the recycled MPIG correction factor and funding for the patient participation group and alcohol enhanced services, which move into core funding from April.
  • There will be a further increase to the global sum from 1 October 2015 when seniority payments are reinvested into core funding.
  • The value per QOF point increases from £156.92 to £160.15 to take account of population growth and relative changes in practice list sizes.
  • The value of the two-year old childhood immunisation quarterly target payment reduces to £632.11 for achieveing the 70% target and £1,896.82 for achieving the 90% target. This is because of changes in the Men C schedule, which means that administration of one dose, rather than two, is required to count towards calculation.
  • The payment of £7.64 for the shingles immunisation for people over 70 is extended to allow claims for immunising anyone who was aged 70 on or after 1 September 2013 as part of a catch-up.
  • Two new payments of £7.64 per dose are being introduced for vaccination of children with the HPV booster and Men C booster who missed the immunisations in the national shcool programme.
  • Payment for locum and in-house GP cover for maternity, paternity and adoption leave is £1,113.74 for the first two weeks and £1,1734.18 for weeks three to 20 (or the actual invoiced costs for that period - whichever is lower). NHS England will set out the arrangements for administering claims.

Read an accountant's view of the 2015/16 contract deal.

Download the 2015/16 contract guidance.

Download the 2015/16 GMS contract technical requirements.


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