News, Primary Care News

£10million invested in practices to support eReferral roll-out

new GP contract, agreed by NHS England, the Government and the British Medical Association’s General Practitioners Committee, will take effect from 01 April 2018 and will see an investment of £256.3 million going into the contract for 2018/19, a 3.4% increase overall.

This includes £60 million to be paid to GP practices to help cover the increased costs of indemnity inflation from 2017/18.

The contract mandates digital tools to be used:

  • Complete the roll out of the Electronic Prescription Service which makes it quicker and easier for patients to get their medicines by allowing prescriptions to be sent direct to pharmacist – saving GP appointment times and making it more convenient for patients.
  • A further £10million will be invested in practices to support full implementation of the e-Referral Service to make this available at every GP practice by October this year. This allows GPs and patients to identify the hospitals with the shortest waiting lists and speeds up the process of booking the first consultant appointment for both GP and hospital.
  • Widen piloting of NHS 111 directly booking GP appointments at practices that want to participate.

NHS England and GP practices are continuing to make it easier and more convenient to get an appointment. The news release said by the autumn of this year all parts of the country will offer evening and weekend GP appointments with local practices working together to ensure this is available in each area.

Dr. Arvind Madan, NHS England Director of Primary Care, said: “This new contract is positive news for patients and GPs, especially the focus on digital solutions. This will help GPs focus their time and resources on the areas that matter most to their patients.”