We expect general practice income to be protected, to ensure practices can continue to operate during this national emergency.
We also expect general practice to be provided with additional funding to meet all extra costs associated with care in the community during the COVID emergency, and that the funding will be flexible to adapt to the changes that are required.
NHS England’s letter from 9 July 2020 provides details of income protection for 2020/21.
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 has been agreed for the duration of the outbreak.
Funding in England
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.
For the second half of the year, IIF funding will be based on achievement (details are still to be agreed between BMA and NHSEI).
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.
Funding for COVID-related care
Additional costs accrued by new models should be covered by additional funding from the national COVID-funding announced by Government. Further details will be issued soon on the COVID support fund for general practice.
Many CCGs are also providing additional support. For example, if the system deems that a group of people (eg shielding patients) who are not normally housebound must be visited, then that should trigger a discussion about how that new additional work is paid for or commissioned.
Template reimbursement claim form
To assist practices in claiming additional costs during the COVID-19 emergency, the BMA, in conjunction with AISMA, has prepared a template reimbursement claim form.
This can be used to claim any additional costs that might arise which are agreed to be reimbursable.
The form covers both staff and non-staff costs and provides costings based on the national agreed reimbursements for Easter weekend. These are able to be amended if a local arrangement was more favourable.
Guidance for completing the form is included.
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, 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.