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Our aim with the interim agreement for 2018-19 is to provide much needed financial stability for practices, reduce workload burdens and bureaucracy.
The changes to the GP contract includes a 1% pay uplift and 1.4% expenses uplift pending DDRB recommendation which is expected this May. There will also be an additional £2.7 million contribution towards the rising costs of indemnity for GPs in GMS practices and across wider practice clinical team. An additional £2.7 million contribution will go towards the rising costs of indemnity.
Other changes include a reduction of QOF to disease registers only, excluding flu indicators which are retained and an agreed set of behavioral standards across the primary and secondary care interface. GPC Wales believes that the agreement does deliver on those aims whilst the more fundamental review of the contract is going on.
As you can imagine, the work for the team on delivering on the contract review during the next year will be considerable. We are utilising expertise from a number of individuals, not only on GPC Wales or within Wales, as well as using the full range of skills from the negotiators and BMA Cymru Wales team.
This works falls into 4 discrete contract work streams which feed into the negotiating group, which includes Welsh Government and Health Boards, where the formal agreements are reached. In case you are wondering, the work streams are:
Clusters now need time to flourish with ongoing engagement from practices and partners across the cluster area on how to best use the funds which remain recurrently available to them, as well as gain the resources they need to function fully as autonomous bodies meeting the needs of their local population.
You may have heard mention of the “transforming model of care” or “emerging mode of care” work. Whilst many GPs worry about yet more change, to be frank, it is what we have all been asking for over many years – ensuring properly staffed practices along with a full complement of staff across the cluster and community to deliver timely services to patients. Many of the work stream areas will naturally then feed into delivering this model.
It is so exciting to see true resources being put behind this and some of the barriers around information governance, indemnity and pension issues sorted. I do believe that if the resources are put in then it will make a significant and positive “transformational” different to the working day for GPs and their teams as well as importantly to patients.
Therefore, will we see a significantly different GMS contract or not? Only time will tell and it is an exciting opportunity for us in Wales to shape and deliver the right services for patients and the profession.