The global sum will increase to £102.28 unweighted per registered patient from £99.70, an increase of 2.59%, contract documents have revealed.
Under the imposed 2023/24 GP contract for England, the value of a QOF point will also go up to £213.43 from £207.56 in 2022/23, an increase of 2.83%.
NHS England has imposed the contract this month with a focus on access, and the imposition has led to talk of potential industrial action, with the BMA’s GP Committee England (GPCE) convening a special meeting on 27 April to discuss next steps.
The Network DES revealed that as part of the Investment and Impact Fund, PCNs will be given an average of £3 per patient unconditionally in 2023/24 to help support them to improve access, which works out at about £11,500 per month for an average PCN.
A further £60,000 per year per PCN – around £1.30p per patient – will be disseminated to networks based on their success at improving access. To earn this, PCNs will have to ‘improve access’, and have just six weeks to develop a plan for achieving this.
The guidance states that network practices must ‘by 12 May 2023, develop an access improvement plan that is agreed with the ICB’. They will also need to: demonstrate improvement in the patient experience over the year through metrics such as the patient survey and the friends and family test; adopt the use of cloud-based telephony systems; and accurately record data.
The document said: ‘ICBs, PCNs and member practices should co-develop and co-own a local improvement plan setting out the changes they intend to make. Local improvement plans should address any identified barriers to improvement or wider support required and link to local support offers for integrated primary care, and where commissioner support is required, commissioners should commit to providing that support.’
A separate indicator in the IIF requires PCNs to see at least 85% of patients being given an appointment within two weeks of them requesting them.
The indicator (ACC08) is worth around £14,000 per PCN on average and the GPCE has said networks should consider whether they want to engage with it.
Dr Clare Bannon, a GPCE negotiator, told GPs at a contract seminar last week: ‘There’s two different segments in IIF. There’s the ACC08 target and this is an IIF indicator. It gives you around 25p per patient for hitting the two-week access target. So what we’re going to be measured on there is the number of patients that are seen within two weeks. And the targets are 85% at the lower threshold and 90% at the upper threshold. Now that is going to be difficult for a lot of practices to meet.
‘I just want to say that this is not contractual, that’s a target, so practices need to think about if that’s not doable then consider not doing it. We’ve been talking to LMCs a lot about safe working and you need to think about 25 contacts a day. If you’re seeing more than 25 patients a day then is that manageable? Is that going to be safe? Are you going to risk burning out?’
Meanwhile, GPC officials confirmed earlier this week that the new contractual ban on asking patients to call back at a different time will not mean having to offer them an appointment on first contact.