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PCNs will receive £7.46 per patient for Monday-Saturday access service

by Costanza Potter
16 March 2022

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GP practices will be funded £7.46 per patient to deliver the new PCN extended hours scheme, the BMA has confirmed.

New BMA guidance on the 2022/23 GP contract changes set out the details of the new service, which is due to begin from October as part of a new access offer within the network DES.

The guidance confirmed that PCNs will be funded ‘£7.46 per weighted patient’.

This represents 2p more than the combined funding for the current £1.44 per head Network Contract DES extended hours funding and the current £6 per head CCG-commissioned extended access services – which are being ‘brought together’ into the DES.

The 2022/23 network contract DES specification, which is expected to set out the final details of the service, is to be published imminently.

NHS England has said that ‘preparatory work’ for the service will begin ‘from next month’, ahead of delivery starting from 1 October. 

It was previously unclear whether the funding itself would be combined into the DES.

Earlier this month, NHS England announced the imposed GP contract changes for 2022/23, which said that PCNs in England would need to offer routine services between 9am and 5pm on Saturdays.

Under the new service, PCNs will need to provide a ‘minimum of 60 minutes of appointments per 1,000 PCN adjusted patients per week’, with bookable appointments for ‘any general practice services’ – representing the workload for both the current DES service and the one commissioned by CCGs.

But NHS England and the BMA had both refused to clarify to Management in Practice’s sister title Pulse what funding PCNs would receive for delivering the new PCN extended hours scheme.

The 2022/23 update to the GP contract was met with dismay across the profession.

The BMA GP Committee for England said it is considering its ‘next steps’ as a negotiator has called for a vote of ‘no confidence’ in NHS England leadership.

It comes as new BMA guidance on ‘safe working’ last week encouraged GPs to ‘consider’ opting out of the PCN DES.

And a King’s Fund report this month warned that PCNs have ‘inadequate funding’ and support to implement the additional roles scheme, with many networks lacking ‘a clear, shared overall purpose’.

BMA GP Committee deputy chair Dr Kieran Sharrock yesterday told MPs that PCNs have ‘worsened’ health inequalities.

This story was initially published on our sister title Pulse.