Hot Topics June 2009
N.B. 1 COPY PER PRACTICE – PLEASE SHOW TO ALL DOCTORS
MID MERSEY LOCAL MEDICAL COMMITTEE
The Gables Cowley Hill Lane St Helens Merseyside WA10 2AP
• DDRB REPORT
Although the recommended uplift was lower than the GPC requested, the DDRB’s report represented something of a turning point and seems to create a number of favourable precedents for GPs. The uplift was intended to be in line with other branches of the profession and factored in Practice expenses while not being persuaded by the case made by other parties to take efficiency savings into consideration.
• THE DDRB REPORT AND PMS PRACTICES
A letter from the Department of Health to SHAs dated 3 April 2009 recommends that PCTs consider the implications of the DDRB’s award for PMS Practices on a case by case basis. It suggests that applying the DDRB recommendation to PMS Practices may result in PMS Practices typically receiving a percentage uplift to their core funding comparable to the minimum uplift for GMS Practices (0.7%), as opposed to the higher uplift received by GMS Practices with no MPIG or low levels of MPIG. The Department recommends that, to help make this decision, PCTs may wish to compare the funding of local PMS Practices with the equivalent GMS funding for delivering the same services. We would expect PMS Practices to receive a minimum uplift to core funding of 0.7%, plus the standard uplift to QOF and enhanced services funding.
• ENHANCED SERVICES EXPENDITURE
Owing to late publication of the clinical DES guidance, the profession is unlikely to have benefited from the 1.5% additional investment promised to the profession for 2008/09. The negotiators are discussing this with NHS Employers and have taken the matter up formally with Alan Johnson.
This year’s DDRB recommendation should deliver an uplift to enhanced services of 1.74%. The GPC made a strong case to NHS Employers that this should be applied to Directed Enhanced Services only to ensure that the new investment reaches the profession. The Department of Health is, however, adamant that the uplift be applied across DESs and LESs. While the GPC is unhappy with this situation, it is important that you are aware of the Department of Health’s recent communication to SHAs of 3 April 2009 (‘Fairer Funding of GP Services’) which states:
“…the effect of the differential investment formula will be to increase the value of Enhanced Services payments by 1.74%....The Department of Health will increase DES payments in the Statement of Financial Entitlements by 1.74%. It is for PCTs to consider the implications of the DDRB recommendations for the LESs they commission and payments made under NESs which they administer locally on a case by case basis. In principle, we would expect PCTs to honour the spirit of the negotiated agreement and, other things being equal, increase contract prices in line with the 1.74% increase for DESs. However, PCTs are responsible for ensuring value for money from the services they commission and will need to consider with local Practices the pricing of individual commissioned”
The RCGP's Guide to the Revalidation of General Practitioners document is now available on the RCGP home page (www.rcgp.org.uk). Please be aware that the RCGP's document is not the final version.
We are aware that some PCOs are advising GPs to use this to start preparing for revalidation. This is inaccurate. The GMC has clarified that there will be a phased roll-out of revalidation only once the pilots have been evaluated and there is a robust network of responsible officers in post. Given that the revalidation pilots will now run until late 2010, and that there will also be second and third wave pilots, you can infer from this that revalidation will not be commencing in 2010. Therefore, PCOs' advice to start revalidation now is premature. Further and more detailed advice on this will be circulated in due course. In the meantime, up-to-date information about revalidation can be found on the BMA website
• INTRODUCING THE LICENCE TO PRACTICE IN 2009
The GPC will introduce licensing in autumn 2009. Doctors wishing to undertake any form of medical practice for which UK law currently requires GMC registration – such as writing prescriptions, and signing death and cremation certificates, - after licensing is introduced, will need to be both registered and hold a license to practice.
The licence to practice will be the first step towards the introduction of revalidation that will, in the future, give patients regular assurance that their Doctors are up-to-date and fit to practise.
• GUIDANCE ON PREVENTING CHILD ACCIDENTS IN THE HOME – DOWNLOAD OR ORDER FREE COPIES NOW
We have been made aware of some recent publications by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) to help parents of young children and the Practitioners who work with them keep children safe from accidents at home:
• Accidents and Child Development, an easy-to-use guidance booklet for any Practitioners involved with the safety, or care, of children. You can download this document or order hard copies for free from the ECM Online Publications page or from the ECM Resources and Practice Page, reference DCSF-00255-2009BKT-EN.
• How Safe is Your Child at Home? A short leaflet for parents and carers, covering common risks to children in the home and how they can be reduced. You can download this document or order hard copies for free from the ECM Online Publications Page or to the ECM Resources and Practice Page, reference DCSF-00254-2009LEF-EN.
Alternatively, you can order free hardcopies of both publications (quoting the references above) from:
DCSF Publications, PO Box 5050, Sherwood Park, Annesley, Nottingham NG15 0DJ
Tel: 0845 60 222 60 Fax: 0845 60 333 60 Textphone: 0845 60 555 60
• PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS
The LMC have been recently made aware that the BMA Employer Advisory Service (EAS) are providing a special service to draw up Partnership Contracts for a one off fee of £200. This is not dependent on how many GPs are part of this contract.
• GOSoC PRACTICE AGREEMENTS and STATEMENT OF SERVICES
Further to recent email correspondence we would confirm that due to time constraints these documents for Halton & St Helens, Knowsley and Warrington PCT areas were approved by the LMC Executive and their decision was subsequently unanimously ratified at the LMC meeting held 8 June 2009.
Dr I Camphor