COVID-19: toolkit for GPs and GP practices

Funding

Location: England Wales Scotland
Audience: GPs Practice managers
Updated: Tuesday 22 September 2020
Topics: COVID 19, GP practices

NHS England’s letter from 9 July 2020 provides details of income protection for 2020/21.

NHS England letter from 4 August 2020 provides details of additional funding to support practices.

GPC Wales is in continued dialogue with Welsh Government.

In Scotland, advance funding has been provided to practices in anticipation of additional costs and a revised SFE (Statement of Financial Entitlements) has been agreed for the duration of the outbreak.

 

Funding in England

Income protection

QOF has been refocused - read our summary on QOF and COVID.

Global sum will continue to be paid at the agreed rates for the whole of 2020/21.

DSQS (dispensing services quality scheme) payments are protected until 31 July 2020, when DSQS will return to operation.

PCN DES (primary care network directed enhanced service) payments will continue to be protected, with IIF (investment and impact fund) payments for the first half of the year being an entitlement to be spent as the PCN chooses.

Read more in our guidance on primary care network funding.

For the second half of the year, IIF funding will be based on achievement.

Other DES and LES/LIS (local enhanced services) should be protected in line with payments/achievement for the previous year, until June 2020. CCGs may return LES/LIS from 1 July, with funding being subject to the terms of the LES/LIS.

COVID-19 support fund

NHSEI has released details of the additional funding to support practices in England over the course of the COVID pandemic.

General principles

Funding will be provided to cover additional costs of:

  • bank holiday opening (for Easter and 8 May) including staff and non-staff costs
  • services to care home residents (from 1 May to 30 September)
  • additional capacity (from 23 March to 31 July) where supported by the Commissioner
  • additional consumable expenses (including PPE)
  • absence cover from day one (from 23 March to 31 July). Practices which have provided full pay for employees who were unable to work will be able to claim the costs of cover.

Reimbursements will only be made where the additional costs are not offset by the income protection.

Practices will be required to submit evidence and assurances as part of claims, along with a declaration form which states that they are true additional costs in line with the rule laid out in the guidance.

Local commissioners will manage the claims process via S96 funding and must approve claims for funding.

A post-payment verification process will require a sample of claims to be reviewed and verified.

Staff costs

Reimbursement will be made to cover all staff absences (from day one of absence to day 14 for GPs at the below rates and thereafter through the SFE provisions) and where full pay has been provided to the absent individual.

The SFE provisions should still be used for non-COVID related sickness cover.

Reimbursement will be made to cover additional capacity within practices (and to maintain capacity to cover absence), as follows:

  • additional locum cover will be provided at £200/session or £250/session for OOH
  • additional GP partner sessions will be provided at £289/session, up to two session per week per partner
  • additional existing salaried GP sessions will be made in line with contractual rates
  • additional temporary salaried GP sessions will be provided at £200/session or £250/session for OOH
  • additional work from other staff groups (whether to cover absence or to provide additional capacity) will be provided in line with contractual rates (either for existing staff or temporary staff)

Reimbursement will also be made for applicable employer National Insurance and pensions costs for each of the above staff groups.

Consumables

  • PPE costs will be covered directly by DHSC with details of the process to be released soon.
  • minor physical adjustments to buildings (eg Perspex screens and barriers) will be reimbursed.
  • additional cleaning materials will be reimbursed.
  • additional clinical equipment will be reimbursed.
  • Other additional consumable costs will be down to Commissioner discretion. 

What to do now

Practices should:

  • review additional costs already incurred and submit claims to the commissioner.
  • discuss with commissioners any anticipated further costs that might require approval.
  • request information from commissioners about the claims process.
  • keep records and evidence of additional costs. 

 

Funding in Wales

It has been agreed between Welsh Government and GPC Wales that elements of the Welsh GMS contract will be relaxed during the pandemic. 

We are in continued discussion with Welsh Government around practice funding during COVID-19, including other non-contractual expenses incurred.

Reporting requirements

Reporting requirements, including post-payment verification and QAIF reporting, have been delayed until 30 September.

However, reporting is required for practices to receive payment against the Access QAIF noting that health boards should take a ‘high trust and pragmatic approach’ with regards to achievement. An electronic reporting template has been made available to make this process easier.

 

Funding in Scotland

BMA Scotland has secured agreement from the Scottish Government that no practice should be left out of pocket as a result of responding to the COVID emergency.

A revised SFE (statement of financial entitlements) has been negotiated for the duration of the current pandemic, including this provision and setting out additional financial support that practices should expect.

Practices have been issued a share of £20million as an advance on the costs that will be reimbursed under the revised SFE. Further advances can be accessed by practices from their health board if required. Spending using these funds should be recorded using the template provided to practices and a reconciliation will take place in July.

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