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.