Since 1974 the collaborative arrangements have enabled local authorities to secure primary care medical services essential for the provision of education, social services and public health at no charge to the patient.
The main areas covered by collaborative arrangements (involving certificates or reports) are:
- Those in relation to children in care or being considered for adoption and fostering, together with certificates and reports on prospective adoptive or foster patents;
- Psychiatric examinations for the sectioning of patients (under the Mental Health Acts);
- Priority housing reports requested by local authorities;
- Attendance at case conferences and other meetings arranged by Social Services;
- Sessional work commissioned by family planning clinics under local authorities or CCGs.
None of these are obligatory for GPs to provide under their contracts but, if GPs do provide them, then there is provision under the NHS Act for them to be paid under “collaborative” arrangements.
The LMC has created a document that details these arrangements including information around funding and a service costing template to help practices calculate a reasonable fee for undertaking such work.