Bulletin 05.03.2011

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Bulletin 05.03.2011

GMS Contract Agreement 2011/12

Negotiations between the GPC and NHS Employers have now concluded and agreement has been reached with the Health Department in. All GPs in the UK have been sent this letter which sets out the details of the agreement. The agreement relates to the following areas of the contract:

  • Practice Expenses
  • The Extended Hours DES in England
  • Certain QOF points, indicators & thresholds
  • Clinical DESs
  • A new Patient Participation DES in England
  • New Quality & Productivity Indicators in the QOF

Practices will need to be particularly mindful of the changes to the Extended Hours DES in England, where from 1 April 2011 practice will have improved flexibilities in the delivery of extended hours, along side reduced funding for this work. Detailed guidance will be available on all aspects of the contract very soon.

QoF Guidance 2011/12

The new GMS contract agreement contains a number of changes to the QOF. The revisions include the retirement of 12 indicators (CH5, CHD7, DM5, DM11, DM16, STR5, MH7, EP7, Information 4, Records 21, PE7 and PE8) releasing 92.5 points for re-allocation. This includes the removal of 58.5 QOF points attached to patient experience of fast access and advanced booking (PE7 & PE8), as measured by the national GP Patient Survey. The freed-up points will be re-used to fund the implementation of new clinical indicators recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for epilepsy, learning disability and dementia, in addition to the implementation of NICE’s recommendation for changes to other existing indicators (CVD-PP, Diabetes, Mental Health and Depression) and 11 new organisational indicators for improving Quality and Productivity. The Quality and Productivity indicators are aimed at securing a more effective use of NHS resources through improvements in the quality of primary care by rewarding more clinically and cost-efficient prescribing, reducing emergency admissions by providing care to patients through the use of alternative care pathways and reducing hospital outpatient referrals. These indicators have been agreed for 2011-2012 only, but may be extended for a second year if significant progress has been made in achieving productivity savings. A breakdown of indicator wording, points and thresholds can be found in this Summary of QoF indicator changes.

Clinical DESs

The alcohol, learning disabilities and osteoporosis DESs introduced in 2008-2009 will continue until 31 March 2012. The requirements of these three clinical DESs remain the same and the payment scheme will mirror the payment scheme at the same rate that applied for the period 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011. The Ethnicity and First Language DES will no longer be available from 1 April 2011. This is because the ethnicity DES was intended as a two-year catch up to enable practices to record ethnicity and first language for patients already on their list. Following the third year extension for 2010/11 this will now cease. View the revised clinical DES guidance here.

Final Seniority Factors 2007/8

The Final Seniority Factors for GMS GPs in England and Wales for 2007/08 have been published by the NHS Information Centre. The figures are £90,375 for England and £78,938 for Wales. Further details and an explanation of the methodology can be viewed here.

Increase in Prescription Charges

From 1 April 2011, the prescription charges in England will increase from £7.20 to £7.40. PCOs were informed following the circulation of this letter last week.

Functions of GP Commissioning Consortia

The DH has published this working document to provide emerging GPCCs some indication of their proposed statutory duties and powers.


The Special Representative Meeting (SRM) to debate the implications of the government’s plans on the NHS, patients and the profession, will be held on Tuesday 15 March 2011 at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London. The SRM agenda has been published and is available on the BMA website, and there will also be a live webcast of the meeting – both of which can be viewed here.

North East Representatives at BMA ARM

Following elections to select GP delegates to attend the 2011 ARM to represent the North East , the following GPs have been elected. As you will see, 2 of the 3 GP representatives are from Cleveland. Congratulations to all selections to attend.
North East
J Canning
R McMahon
G Rae

Cleveland LMC Board March Meeting Minutes

The LMC Minutes of the March Board meeting are available to be viewed here.

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