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by Lea Legraien and Awil Mohamoud
10 February 2020
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Practice managers will be offered a £20k incentive to take up partnership roles under the newly agreed NHS England and BMA GP contract.
The move is part of an additional £94m promised to general practice to address recruitment and retention issues.
A ’partnership premium’, which is a one-off payment of £20,000 will be available from April to new GP partners, nurses and practice managers with an additional £3,000 for training support, according to the new contract which was released last week.
The BMA’s GP Committee agreed to the contract last Thursday, after it voted down the previous negotiated deal.
The contract has also committed more money for additional roles in primary care networks.
It will also bring in new metrics for access to bring down waiting times, which will be a new measure of ‘patient experience’.
The contract agreement has committed:
• 100% reimbursement for all additional staff recruited via the Primary Care Networks, which now include pharmacy technicians, care co-ordinators, health coaches, dietitians, podiatrists and occupational therapists, and mental health professionals from 2021.
• £173m for PCNs to employ a wider range of professionals to help manage workload and provide appointments, including pharmacy technicians.
• Funding to pay for childcare for doctors returning to general practice through the GP Induction and Refresher Scheme.
• Funding to support practices to deliver a 6-8 week postnatal health check for new mothers.
• An above inflation pay uplift for staff, as agreed in the 2019/20 deal.
There was huge outcry from the profession following the publication of the draft service specifications before Christmas, which proposed that primary care networks would have to send a GP to perform a ’care round’ every fortnight.
But under the new contract, GPs will not be asked to perform fortnightly care home visits as earlier proposed and it will be for PCNs to decide who delivers a weekly review of those care home residents, based on clinical need.
Networks will also receive £120 per care home bed to reflect the varying size of populations.
‘Challenging and tough negotiations’
Dr Richard Vautrey, England chair of the General Practice Committee, said: ‘After months of challenging and tough negotiations we’re pleased to have secured this package of changes that have the potential to make a real difference to GPs, the practices they work in and the patients they treat.
‘The significant investment in and focus on recruitment and retention, including payments to incentivise doctors to take up partnership roles and work in under-doctored areas, is a vote of confidence in the partnership model and a much-needed first step if we are to reverse the worrying trend of falling GP numbers that we have seen in recent years.’