Named Accountable GP for all patients
GPC Advice as follows
What is 'named GP' contract requirement?
This contractual requirement builds upon the 2014-2015 agreement to provide a named and accountable GP for over 75s.
The 'named accountable GP for all patients' requirement has now been extended to all patients from 1 April 2015.
The named GP's responsibilities for patients aged 75 and over remain unchanged from 2014-2015.
Those responsibilities include:
- working with relevant associated health and social care professionals to deliver a multi-disciplinary care package that meets the needs of the patient;
- ensuring that these patients have access to a health check as set out in section 7.9 of the standard GMS contract.
What has changed from 1 April 2015
The 2015-2016 GP contract in England now requires the named accountable GP to take responsibility for the co-ordination of all appropriate services and ensure they are delivered where required (based on the named GP's clinical judgement) to each of their patients.
The role of the named GP will not:
- take on vicarious responsibility for the work of other doctors or health professionals;
- take on 24-hour responsibility for the patient, or have to change their working hours:
- imply personal availability for GPs throughout the working week;
- be the only GP or clinician who will provide care to that patient.
The contract remains 'practice based', so overall responsibility for patient care has not changed.
The named GP is largely a role of oversight, with the requirements being introduced to reassure patients they have one GP within the practice who is responsible for ensuring that this work is carried out on their behalf.
There is no condition within the requirement for patients to see the named GP when they book an appointment with the practice.
Patients are entitled to choose to see any GP or nurse in the practice in line with current arrangements.
When to inform patients of the change
From 1 April 2015, practices are contractually required to allocate a named, accountable GP to all patients (including children).
All patients who were on the practice list prior to 1 April 2015 will need to be allocated their named accountable GP by 30 June 2015.
All new patients who register with a practice after 1 April 2015 should be allocated their named accountable GP within 21 days of registration.
This excludes patients aged 75 and over already allocated a named accountable GP under existing provisions.
BMA, NHS England and NHS Employers produced joint guidance which features more detail on when to inform patients about their named GP.
How to inform patients of the change
Practices are free to determine how best to inform their patients but one example is to inform individual patients at the first appropriate interaction with the practice.
The GPC is aware of an anomaly between the GMS contract guidance and the GMS Regulations.
Under Regulation 4B it states that contractors must inform patients of the assignment of a named GP by 30 June 2015. NHS England has agreed that it is acceptable for practices to meet this criteria in line with the GMS contract guidance.
We would not expect practices to be found in breach of contract by following the GMS contract guidance and the position set out in this 'Focus on' document.
How to monitor your fulfilment of requirement
Detailed guidance is available on how to monitor how you fulfill the requirement by using the Read and CTV3 codes which can be entered into the patient's record.
Where practices do not have access to the relevant codes, they should consider alternative ways of demonstrating they have delivered these requirements e.g. allocating an accountable GP through their clinical system registration module.
What your practice should do now
There are three separate steps that GP practices should do as soon as possible:
Practices are required to use the new code 'patient allocated named accountable general practitioner' to confirm the practice has allocated a GP to each patient by the 30 June 2015, or within 21 days if aged 75 or over or newly registered.
There is no requirement to write to any patients regarding their named GP, but practices are required to inform patients of their named GP at the next appropriate interaction. Practices can decide what is appropriate, in line with the 2014-2015 contract changes. However it should be noted that patients aged 75 or over must still be notified by the most appropriate means either by letter or the next routine consultation.
By the end of March 2016, the practice must confirm on their website that every patient has a named GP. If a practice already operates a personal list and patients are familiar with having a personal GP, there is no need to inform patients again. However it will still be necessary to ensure that confirmation is provided on the website. Practices are required to use the new code 'Informing patient of named accountable general practitioner'.