The new GP contract for England will allow every practice in the country to be able to increase the pay of practice staff by at least 2%, it has been announced today.
The new five-year contract for GP services, agreed between the British Medical Association (BMA) and NHS England, will guarantee £405m of investment in the first year, part of which can be used to increase staff pay.
The BMA’s general practice committee has recommended that practice staff receive a pay increase ‘of at least 2%’, thanks to the increased funding to the contract, combined with the decrease in indemnity costs to practices that also feature as part of the agreement.
From 2020 onward, the global sum paid to GP practices will continue to increase that will ensure practices can increase staff pay at least in line with predicted inflation.
If inflation rises above predicted levels, the general practice committee and NHS England ‘will agree a mechanism for readjustment’.
The agreement, described as the ‘biggest reform to GP services in 15 years’ by NHS England, will see practices receive £1bn worth of funding over five years.
Practices will be expected to make 25% of their appointments bookable online as part of the contract, as well as allow NHS 111 to book appointments directly into GP practices as per the NHS Long Term Plan. One appointment per day for every 3,000 patients will need to be made available for direct booking by NHS 111.
Resources will be made available to surgeries to facilitate online and video consultations, with patients having the ‘right’ to video consultations by 2021.
As previously reported by Nursing in Practice, changes will be made to the QOF, with unnecessary indicators removed that will see changes to diabetes and hypertension management.
NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens claimed the contract represented the ‘biggest boost to primary care in more than 15 years’, and said it would ‘break down the divide between family doctors and community health services.’
Chair of the BMA GP committee Dr Richard Vautrey said the new agreement will ensure staff pay is covered.
He said: ‘After years of derisory pay uplifts for staff and tightening financial pressures on practices, we have been able to negotiate a five-year deal guaranteeing investment that covers pay and expenses, and at least matches predicted inflation.
‘This package sets us on the road to rebuilding not only general practice but also the wider primary healthcare team; delivering an expanded workforce embedded within practices and giving GPs a leadership role in bringing together the community healthcare team.’