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  • Welcome focus on primary care but NHS plan also raises difficult questions

    14 January 2019

    The NHS Long Term Plan includes a promise of £4.5bn of ring-fenced funding for primary care and community services. Among its bolder ambitions are that integrated care systems (ICS) will cover the country within two years and that all GP practices will be members of primary care networks by this April. But as PCC’s initial analysis of the plan shows, it also raises some difficult questions about the future of CCGs, not all of which can be expected to survive in their current form and about the development of primary care networks, which need to be nurtured not imposed if the local foundations for integrated care are to be strong and stable.

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  • Medical contracts - do you vary or procure?

    8 January 2019

    Commissioners of primary medical services contracts are frequently faced with changes to contracting parties and contractual obligations. This on 30 April in London, 22 May in Birmingham and 26 June in Manchester event brings together the rules governing when to vary a contract and when to go to procurement. This allows delegates to consider how they would balance what are seen by some as competing tensions.

    Commissioners faced with this question currently have to consider two sources: the NHS England Policy and Guidance Manual for advice on variation and the NHS procurement regulations for the procurement rules.

    Experts on primary care contracting and procurement join the dots between these topics, clearly explaining the rules, reminding delegates of the risks and highlighting areas of discretion.

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  • Do you know your GMS from your ICS?

    8 January 2019

    Integration has become one of the most important words in health policy. The NHS long term plan makes it clear that closer working between NHS organisations, social care and the voluntary sector remains a top priority.

    As the first point of contact for most patients with a range of services, primary care is at the heart of all integration plans, but integrating with something you don’t understand is difficult and risky.

    Although contracting is a dry and technical subject, it is essential to have a basic understanding of how contracts work, what they allow you to do and what they may prevent you from doing. What difference will the new “GP network” contract make to commissioners as they strive to hit the government’s target for 100% coverage of ICS within two years?

    This workshop on 20 March in London, 2 April in Manchester and 25 April in Birmingham is a beginners’ guide to the subject but would suit anyone who needs to understand how primary medical contracts can enable or impede change. It explains the basic concepts, breaks down the jargon and acronyms and explains where primary medical services are now and where they are heading.

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