Last reviewed 15 July 2020

The requirement for practices to set aside a minimum of one in 500 appointments for NHS 111 direct booking has been extended until 30 September 2020 "at the earliest", according to NHS England, after the emergency regulations that mandated the requirement lapsed at the end of June.

In a letter to GPs last night, NHS England wrote that the appointments remained necessary to support phase two of the NHS response to coronavirus, in particular the role of NHS 111 which is helping to reduce the face-to-face transmission risk for patients and NHS employees.

Patients booked in by NHS 111 remotely should continue to be clinically assessed, and GPs should arrange their ongoing management to ensure that only those who need further care in person, via telephone or video consultation are presenting to services, and are managed appropriately for their clinical condition.

Other emergency measures now extended until 30 September at the earliest, for practices in England, include the suspension of data submissions for the Friends and Family Test, which was paused in April, and GPs still do not need patient consent "in certain circumstances" to encourage increased use of electronic repeat dispensing (eRD).

The letter also requires GPs to resume patient reviews and health checks, including routine medication reviews, from 1 July 2020.

This follows the announcement of a major expansion of the flu programme and comes as elements of Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) reporting are also being reinstated.

A copy of the letter is available at https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/C0569-Second-phase-of-General-Practice-response-to-COVID-19--update-to-GP-contracts-and-income-protection-a.pdf