General Practice Contract
The New General Medical Services (nGMS) contract 2003 'investing in General Practice' known as 'the blue book', was agreed in 2003 and implemented in 2004. It was a three-year contract that has seen considerable changes and enhancements year on year since then.
Details of all the changes to the GMS Contract, since it was introduced in 2003, are available from the NHS Employers website.
Alternative Provider Medical Services (APMS)
Alternative Provider Medical Services (APMS) contracts allow NHS England to commission primary care services from a wide range of providers. They can be used to provide essential services, additional services where existing (GMS and PMS) GP practices opt out, enhanced services, out-of-hours services or any one element or combination of these services.
Personal Medical Services (PMS)
PMS is a locally-agreed alternative to General Medical Service (GMS) for providers of general practice. Legislation has allowed for PMS since 1997 (with the entry into force of the Primary Care Act) but it is only in recent years that the number of practices choosing PMS has grown rapidly.
In Scotland, PMS practices are called Section 17c practices (a reference to the relevant section of the Primary Medical Services Act). There are no PMS practices in Wales and Northern Ireland.
The defining feature of PMS agreements is their local nature. Unlike GMS contracts, they are negotiated between the PCO and the practice, and are not subject to direct national negotiations between the Department of Health and the General Practitioners Committee of the BMA. Nevertheless, the national GMS contract, which came into force on 1 April 2004, had a strong impact on PMS policy and on the contents of PMS agreements. Moreover, the GPC is consulted, together with other organisations, on the development of PMS and provides valuable input to proposed legislative changes as well as on many other PMS-related matters.
This document is concerned mainly with how PMS has changed as a result of the new GMS contract. It is also intended as a general introduction to any practice considering entering into a PMS agreement.
Links to other useful information below:
- General Medical Services contract
- GMS Contract & PMS agreement - how they compare
- NHS contracts for Primary medical services
- How your Practice is Funded