December 2021 Temporary Contract changes and Income Protections.
7th December 2021 NHSE sent out a temporary contract change letter to assist with capacity to aid the Covid vaccination programme. Times are moving incredibly fast for us at the moment and General Practice Teams are being asked (yet again) to step up to provide the bulk of the Covid vaccination programme. This follows the government’s announcement on boosters for all adults, 4th doses for immunocompromised and second doses for 12–16 year-olds.
The letter informs us that practices have some income protection from the bulk of the detailed QOF work. Alongside this, Practices in Networks will be eligible for some of the remaining IIF (PCN DES Income and Investment Fund) payments, although part of this payment is dependent on all Practices within a Network signing up to deliver the Covid Vaccination enhanced service (other than in exceptional circumstances).
Wessex LMCs have produced some simple guidance on what this means for Practices and can be downloaded the latest of which you can download here.
This sounds like good news, and indeed it has been well received. There are, however, caveats, and the one message that won’t go away is about core work and the high levels of demand – workload and workforce remain critical in Primary Care. We must keep this message central to our negotiations with NHSE and the government over the coming months. Workload concessions are helpful, but they demonstrate that providing safe Primary care is about capacity meeting demand. All GPs will work hard for their patients, doing their best whether QOF is there or not, and general practice has never been busier.
You may also like to take a look at our 21/22 Contract webpage