Revised GP contract will usher in seven-day service

5 Oct 15

David Cameron has announced a new GP contract to boost moves towards seven-day services across the NHS and improve care integration.

On the first day of the Conservative party conference in Manchester, the prime minister said the contract would be matched with more money from primary care. The voluntary deal will be offered from April 2017 and further details are to be announced at next month’s Spending Review.

As well as extending GP services to seven days a week, the deal is intended to give doctors more control over the way they work, removing some existing regulations such as the existing quality and outcomes framework.

Cameron said that a new contract was needed to help junior doctors.

“We made a very big choice as a government in our manifesto – we said that we are going to have to make difficult decisions elsewhere, but the NHS will not just be protected. It’s getting an extra £10bn of money during this parliament, over and above inflation, and that enables us to meet some really clear goals.

“I think a seven-day NHS is a really exciting prospect, because as I say, parents and people in our country want to access the NHS on a seven day basis.

“This doesn’t mean that all staff in the NHS have to work every seven days, it just means the services are available, so I can announce today that we will be publishing a new GP contract to get rid of the box ticking and the form-filling.”

Groups of GPs or practices that cover at least 30,000 patients will be the first to be offered the terms. The new contract will be developed to break down boundaries between GPs and hospitals and between health and social care to enable better local integration with community nurses, hospital specialists and pharmacists.

In addition, £750m will be made available in the next three years to fund improvements in GP premises, technology and modern ways of working, including greater use of telephone, email and Skype consultations.

Cameron also announced improved seven-day hospital services would be rolled out to half the country by 2018 as part of a “patient guarantee” in a new mandate to NHS England that will ensure every patient has access to seven-day services by 2020.

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