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Health Health

Introduce a new GP contract

Last updated: 03:31pm 21 June 2019

We will introduce a new GP contract to help develop wider primary care services.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.68

Our verdict

The core GP contract is negotiated by the government and the British Medical Association and broadly outlines what services GPs will provide, how those services will be funded, and what remuneration GPs receive for their work.

When the NHS was established, GPs were paid according to the number of patients registered with them and the age of those patients. There have been many changes to the contract since then and, according to the King’s Fund charity, “the result is a complex and varied system of remuneration that defies simple characterisation”.

As one of a group of proposals relating to GPs (see “Related policies” below), this policy promises to alter the GP contract to help develop primary care services.

The most notable healthcare development under this government has been the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan in January 2019 which includes commitments regarding GP services that have translated into a five-year framework for GP contract reform.

That five-year framework agreement:

  • Seeks to address workload issues resulting from workforce shortfall
  • Brings a permanent solution to indemnity costs and coverage
  • Improves the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF)
  • Introduces automatic entitlement to a new Primary Care Network Contract
  • Helps join-up urgent care services
  • Enables practices and patients to benefit from digital technologies
  • Delivers new services to achieve NHS Long Term Plan commitments
  • Gives five-year funding clarity and certainty for practices
  • Tests future contract changes prior to introduction

The reforms are ongoing but we think the five-year framework agreement is significantly different from what went before, and as such, it represents the introduction of a new GP contract. We’re marking this policy as ‘done’.

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