The NHS standard contract for secondary care trusts came into force on 1 April 2016. The NHS standard contract for secondary care trusts has placed new requirements on hospitals to reduce inappropriate bureaucratic workload shift onto GP practices. Many of those changes to the standard contract have been brought about as a result of on going negotiations between GPC and NHS England to get them to understand how important it is that the bureaucratic burden that all GPs are under is reduced.
Despite these contract changes, it is clear that most CCGs and hospital providers have not implemented these changes, with practices continuing to be burdened with inappropriate demands. At the specific request of GPC, a letter reiterating these new requirements was sent on 28 July 2017 to CCG Accountable Officers, and Chief Executives of NHS trusts from Matthew Swindells, National Director: Operations and Information at NHS England, and Robert Alexander, Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Improvement.
Practices have provided with template letter to send back to hospitals to hold both CCGs and hospital trusts to account to implement these contractual changes, which can liberate an estimated 15 million wasted GP appointments annually, as well as reduce significant bureaucracy and administrative workload for practice staff.
1) Stopping hospitals adopting blanket policies under which patients who do not attend an outpatient clinic appointment are automatically discharged back to their GP for re-referral (this wastes an estimated 15 million GP appointments per year).
2) Enabling hospital onward referral to and treatment by another professional within the same provider for a related condition, without the need to refer back to the GP. Re-referral for GP approval is only required for onward referral of non-urgent, unrelated conditions.
3) A requirement for hospitals to notify patients of the results of clinical investigations and treatments in an appropriate and cost-effective manner; for example, telephoning the patient. Therefore, GPs should not be inappropriately used to relay to patients results of tests generated by hospital clinicians.
4) Timely clinic letters to GP practices, no later than 14 days after the appointment, and with the intention of electronic transmission of clinic letters within 24 hours in the future.
5) A requirement to send discharge summaries by direct electronic or email transmission for inpatient, day case or A&E care within 24 hours.
6) Providers to supply patients with medication following discharge from inpatient or day case care for the period established minimum 7 days.
Source; BMA 22nd Nov 2017
If you are having appointments or treatment at a hospital please be aware of the above areas.
We want to make sure patients are not caught in the middle with delayed care, however we also need to ensure hospitals treat and Prescribe as per these conditions of their contract with NHS England.
WMGP Managers & Partners