GPC England's LMC Update: 25 February 2022
Update on 2022/23 GP contract negotiations
Given the time of year, we are aware that colleagues are wondering about the 22/23 Contract. 2022/23 will be the fourth year of the five-year framework for GP contract reform agreed in 2019.
Negotiations are ongoing and remain confidential till they have concluded.
The GPC England executive team have been meeting with NHSE/I frequently since early January 2022 to negotiate changes to the contract that reflect the current day pressures.
There is still no agreement with NHSE/I however negotiations are still ongoing, and we will leave no stone un-turned in trying to find an agreed way forward.
Whilst the details of ongoing negotiations remain confidential for now; the following matters are in the public domain:
It is our intention to meet with Local Medical Committees (LMCs) and GPs over the coming months to seek your views on a model of general practice which is fit for the future, that will enable us to care of our patients safely.
Lifting COVID restrictions and infection control
As of today, 24 February, as part of the Government’s ‘Living with COVID-19’ plan, the COVID restrictions have been lifted in England, including the requirement to isolate after testing positive.
The BMA has voiced concerns that living with COVID doesn't mean ignoring its continued harm to many, and that scrapping all restrictions and allowing the infection to spread in an unmonitored and unfettered manner would be damaging to the health of millions.
We are also concerned that removing the protections in healthcare settings that currently exist, such as mask wearing, would be wrong and we have raised this with NHSE/I, who has confirmed that the Infection Prevention Control (IPC) guidance for healthcare workers will not be changing and still advises that face masks should continue be worn by staff and patients in health care settings.
NHSE/I has published a letter to healthcare providers to update in light of the Living with COVID plan which confirms that there are no changes to IPC measures, and which also advises that healthcare staff who have tested positive for COVID-19, or who have symptoms of, should not attend work until they have had two negative LFD test results taken 24 hours apart, no earlier than day 5 after their initial positive test.
We have requested urgent communications to the public about IPC expectations for public in healthcare settings.
COVID-19 vaccination programme
COVID-19 vaccination for all 5-11 year olds
Following the latest JCVI guidance on vaccinations for all 5-11 year olds, NHSE/I has published guidance on the actions to take to begin administering vaccinations to 5-11 year-olds from the beginning of April.
We also understand that the COVID-19 vaccination enhanced service specification will be extended and is being updated to align with the JCVI guidance as well as the next steps guidance (below), and will be published shortly.
Next steps for vaccination programme
NHSE/I has sent out a letter setting out the next steps of the vaccination programme asking local systems to plan for the April to September period, advising that general practice should focus on delivery of core/routine services to patients, and that it is likely that PCN sites will ‘hibernate’ over that period whilst being prepared to stand back up if there is a surge. Provision of COVID vaccinations over that period will be through mass vaccination sites and pharmacies, although in limited circumstances, where appropriate and agreed with local systems, PCN sites might still be utilised. Read more in the planning parameters document.
The letter also announced that a second booster programme will commence in Autumn 2022, which will be limited to over 75s, care home residents and severely immuno-compromised - it will not include health and care staff. The NHSE/I letter also requests local systems about preference for delivery of the further booster programme from September.
We will continue to engage with NHSE/I on this over the spring and summer.
Dr Jameel said: "While we understand the frustration of patients who have had difficulty getting appointments, the root cause lies in chronic workforce shortages and a lack of proper investment. Without a workable plan to increase staffing, freeing up the staff we have to care for patients based on clinical need and directing investment to where it's needed most, we will see no relief from the current crisis engulfing the NHS."
If you have maintained enhanced protection under the 1995 or 2008 sections, be aware this will be lost when you transition to the 2015 scheme on 1 April 2022. Members should consider opting out of the NHS pension if they want to retain the enhanced or fixed protection and do so by 31 March 2022 – it is important that you ensure that PCSE effects this promptly. Read more
NHS Elective Recovery Plan
The BMA’s comprehensive summary and analysis of the new NHS Elective Recovery Plan has now been published. The recovery plan sets out a range of ambitions, policies, and programmes targeted at reducing the elective care backlog in England over the next three years.
GPC England has encouraged NHSE/I to develop a support package so general practices can deliver recovery and deal with the backlog in long-term conditions. Our briefing analyses the key details of the plan – read it here
Patient access to records
GPC England recognises the immense pressure that enabling access to records in such a short timeframe would put on GPs. We secured a delay to the original launch date and continue to work with other stakeholders to seek a resolution to ongoing concerns. As it stands the requisite infrastructure and guidance is not yet in place to enable this to launch in an effective fashion. We have concerns that without this and without an adequate public education campaign, the launch of the programme will likely drive traffic to GPs from patients unable to access aspects of their record or confused about what they find, ultimately creating more harm than good due to increased demands on GPs time.
Professor Claire Fuller has been asked to lead a wide-ranging national stocktake of how primary care can best be supported within the emergent Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) to meet the health needs of people in their local areas. We would encourage LMCs and GP practices to take the opportunity to input into this review. You can do this by adding comments and ideas to the Stocktake Crowdicity page
New to partnership scheme
Following the article in Pulse which revealed that more than 1,300 GPs have benefited from the new to partnership payments, I commented: “The New to Partnership scheme was part of NHSE/I and DHSC's commitment to the partnership model and we are glad that it is being taken up in such numbers. While we think progress has been encouraging, it can do better and we are keen to ensure this scheme encourages GPs to become partners.”
Ordering DWP leaflets
A new contract for Managed Print Services with HH Global Associates Ltd (HHG) started on 21 February 2022, which provides the supply of items to DWP’s external customers / partners, such as the MATB1 maternity certificate, Med 3s and Med 10s for health care professionals. Read more on GOV.UK
LMC Secretaries Conference 2022 – registration deadline 25 February
Information has been sent out to register for the LMC Secretaries Conference 10 March 2022. The event will take place at Friends’ House, on Euston Road opposite Euston Station. An online application form for nominations is available here, with a closing date of 25 February 2022. Please contact the GPC office at firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries you have about the LMC Secretaries Conference.
LMC UK Conference 2022
The 2022 UK LMC Conference will take place on 10 and 11 May and will be held face to face in York at the Barbican Centre (unless government advice mandates that we cannot, in which case it will be held remotely).
The deadline to submit motions is noon 2 March 2022, via this link
LMCs are asked to complete the registration form by the following link no later than Friday 8 April 2022 Registration site - UK conference of LMCs 2022 (bma.org.uk). Please note that we would be unable to fulfil registration requests beyond that date.
We aim to publish the final Agenda on the BMA website on 22 April 2022, and it will also be emailed directly to those who have registered and LMCs as soon as it is available.
Read more about the conference, how to register and to submit motions on the BMA website
Key GPC contacts for any queries and information:
General queries: email@example.com Karen Day firstname.lastname@example.org (Registering reps, conference attendees, motions, general admin) Kathryn Reece email@example.com (Registering reps, conference attendees, motions, general admin).
GPC regional elections
Nominations are open for seats to the General Practitioners Committee (GPC) in the following regions:
Barking & Havering/Redbridge & Waltham Forest/City & E London
Cumbria & Lancs
Wigan & Bolton/Bury & Rochdale/W Pennine
Ayrshire & Arran/Borders/Dumfries & Galloway/Lanarkshire
S & W Devon/Cornwall & Isles of Scilly
Hamps & IoW
Surrey & Croydon
E Yorks/ N Lincs/ Lincs
All standard seats are for a three-year term, 2022-25 sessions, subject to governance structure review. You must be a BMA member to stand in this election.
Please note that in previous years there was a requirement that only GPs who paid the voluntary levy could nominate themselves for election. That requirement has now been removed.
To submit your nomination for any of the above seats please visit https://elections.bma.org.uk/
The deadline for all nominations is 12pm Monday 7th March.
If you have any queries regarding the election process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Read our comprehensive guide for elected members, which includes a role profile.
Read more about the GPC and elections here
For any questions relating to the role or GPC please contact email@example.com
Welsh GP Contract 2021/22
The Welsh Government, NHS Wales and GPC Wales agreed the Welsh GP contract for 2021/2022 in November 2021. Subsequent to the completion of formal negotiations a GMS Contract Implementation Group was established to take forward the agreed outcomes and facilitate their implementation into the GMS contract. This group has now concluded its work and all contractual guidance is available online, this includes the GPC Wales Focus On document.
During this protracted period of negotiations, GPC Wales fought hard to ensure the best deal possible for GPs in Wales. We are pleased that hard-working practice staff are finally able to receive a pay uplift, however, we have stated throughout negotiations that it is inappropriate to link the DDRB’s recommended pay award to wider contractual change. This is a clear point of principle for us as an Association and we are deeply frustrated that the Welsh Government has taken this approach.
Read the latest GP bulletin (England) here
Read the Sessional GPs newsletter here
GPC England – information and guidance
Read more about the work of the GPC England
Read practical guidance for GP practices
Read about BMA in the media: BMA media centre | British Medical Association