New GP contract sees £10m investment in e-Referral Service roll-out
[London, UK] The government, NHS England and the British Medical Association (BMA) GP committee have reached an agreement on the new GP contract for 2018/19, which will include a £10m investment to support full implementation of the e-Referral Service by the end of the year and an 1% increase in pay.
The electronic system allows GPs to identify hospitals with the shortest waiting lists, speeding up access to care for patients.
NHS England says all GPs will use digital tools as part of these changes, which will also support the deployment of the Electronic Prescription Service.
“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,” said Dr. Arvind Madan, NHS England Director of Primary Care.
Overall, the new contract will see an investment of £256m, with £60m to be paid to GP practices to cover the increase in costs of indemnity inflation from 2017/18.
Richard Vautrey, Chair of the BMA GP committee, said:
“While these changes are a further step in the right direction, and build on the important improvements last year, what is urgently needed is for the Government to continue to work with the BMA to provide general practice with the proper funding and support it needs to guarantee the future of the profession and ensure safe and high-quality care to patients.”