General Practitioners: Contracts

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 14th March 2019.

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Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Labour, Garston and Halewood

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his policy of not allowing GP services provided via Alternative Provider Medical Services Contracts to be provided using other contractual models such as General Medical Services Contracts; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Labour, Garston and Halewood

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what research his Department has commissioned on the effect on GP services in deprived communities of continuing to provide GP services through Alternative Provider Medical Services Contracts when the operators of such contracts hand them back; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Labour, Garston and Halewood

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to review the policy of General Medical Services Contracts not being able to provide GP services when Alternative Provider Medical Contracts fail.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

NHS England’s Primary Medical Care Policy and Guidance Manual (first published 15 November 2017) provides local commissioners of primary medical services the context, information and tools to safely commission and contract management primary medical care contracts.

There is no prohibition on issuing General Medical Services or Personal Medical Services contracts under this guidance and every local commissioner needs to consider each individual case on the basis of local circumstances that apply. Considerations will also need to factor appropriate legislation and NHS England’s Standing Financial Instructions.

Commissioners need to comply with their obligations under the Public Contract Regulations (“PCR 2015”) and the NHS (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition Regulations) (No. 2) Regulations 2013 (“the NHS Regulations”). One of the impacts of these Regulations is commissioner should not unnecessarily restrict contracts to only certain kinds of providers. In practice this will mean the use of Alternative Provider Medical Services contracts in procurements.

NHS England’s Standing Financial Instructions additionally require all proposed clinical procurements for all types of revenue expenditure which last for five years or more, including options to extend clauses, must be submitted to and approved by the NHS England Commercial Executive Group before advertisement.

Whilst these considerations do not the use of General and Personal Medical Services contracts where appropriate and justifiable, these are likely to be exceptional.

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, Parliament and the Government both asked the NHS to make consensus proposals for how primary legislation might be adjusted to better support delivery of the agreed changes set out in this plan.

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