General practitioner England GP practices

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Named accountable GP for all patients

The GPC has received enquiries from members about the contractual requirements for named GPs and the need to inform patients. 

The guidance below aims to help clarify how GP practices can fulfill this requirement. 

Read more about the GP contract 2015-2016 in England


  • What is 'named GP' contract requirement?

    This contractual requirement builds upon the 2014-2015 agreement to provide a named and accountable GP for over 75s. 

    The 'named accountable GP for all patients' requirement has now been extended to all patients from 1 April 2015.

    The named GP's responsibilities for patients aged 75 and over remain unchanged from 2014-2015.

    Those responsibilities include:

    • working with relevant associated health and social care professionals to deliver a multi-disciplinary care package that meets the needs of the patient;
    • ensuring that these patients have access to a health check as set out in section 7.9 of the standard GMS contract.


  • What has changed from 1 April 2015?

    The 2015-2016 GP contract in England now requires the named accountable GP to take responsibility for the co-ordination of all appropriate services and ensure they are delivered where required (based on the named GP's clinical judgement) to each of their patients.

    The role of the named GP will not:

    • take on vicarious responsibility for the work of other doctors or health professionals;
    • take on 24-hour responsibility for the patient, or have to change their working hours:
    • imply personal availability for GPs throughout the working week;
    • be the only GP or clinician who will provide care to that patient.

    The contract remains 'practice based', so overall responsibility for patient care has not changed.

    The named GP is largely a role of oversight, with the requirements being introduced to reassure patients they have one GP within the practice who is responsible for ensuring that this work is carried out on their behalf.  

    There is no condition within the requirement for patients to see the named GP when they book an appointment with the practice.

    Patients are entitled to choose to see any GP or nurse in the practice in line with current arrangements.


  • When and how do I inform patients of the change?

    When to inform patients of the change

    From 1 April 2015, practices are contractually required to allocate a named, accountable GP to all patients (including children).

    All new patients who register with a practice after 1 April 2015 should be allocated their named accountable GP within 21 days of registration.

    This excludes patients aged 75 and over already allocated a named accountable GP under existing provisions.

    BMA, NHS England and NHS Employers produced joint guidance which features more detail on when to inform patients about their named GP.

    Read guidance for the GMS contract 2015-2016


    How to inform patients of the change

    Practices are free to determine how best to inform their patients but one example is to inform individual patients at the first appropriate interaction with the practice.

    Important notice

    The GPC is aware of an anomaly between the GMS contract guidance and the GMS Regulations.

    Under Regulation 4B it states that contractors must inform patients of the assignment of a named GP by 30 June 2015. NHS England has agreed that it is acceptable for practices to meet this criteria in line with the GMS contract guidance.

    We would not expect practices to be found in breach of contract by following the GMS contract guidance and the position set out in this 'Focus on' document.

  • How do I monitor my fulfilment of requirement?

    Detailed guidance is available on how to monitor how you fulfill the requirement by using the Read and CTV3 codes which can be entered into the patient's record.

    Where practices do not have access to the relevant codes, they should consider alternative ways of demonstrating they have delivered these requirements e.g. allocating an accountable GP through their clinical system registration module.

    Technical requirements for 2015-2016 GMS contract changes


  • What are practices required to do?

    Practices are required to use the new code 'patient allocated named accountable general practitioner' to confirm the practice has allocated a GP to each patient within 21 days of registration.

    There is no requirement to write to any patients regarding their named GP, but practices are required to inform patients of their named GP at the next appropriate interaction. Practices can decide what is appropriate, in line with the 2014-2015 contract changes.

    However it should be noted that patients aged 75 or over must still be notified by the most appropriate means either by letter or the next routine consultation.


    Contact us

    If you have any further queries regarding the named GP contract requirement, please contact us for support.

    Email GPC