Last reviewed 15 July 2020
NHS England has announced that GPs must resume patient reviews and health checks, including routine medication reviews, as from 1 July 2020.
Describing GPs' contractual position, a letter from NHS England stated: "From 1 July 2020 practic-es should resume the following services if these have been deprioritised: New patient reviews (in-cluding alcohol dependency); Routine medication reviews; Over-75 health checks; Clinical reviews of frailty."
According to the letter, GP practices must also resume the delivery of face-to-face care "where clinically appropriate". It added: "Where this care cannot be delivered safely face-to-face or where the patient has other medical conditions which still require them to shield or socially isolate the re-view could be conducted remotely, with as much of the physical review completed as is practicable in these circumstances.”
Public Health England (PHE) has recommended that the routine call for shingles vaccination programme is re-instated from 1 July 2020.
Also, from 1 July, the requirement for practices to engage with and review feedback from Patient Participation Groups (PPG) was reinstated as practices must continue to engage patients and citi-zens in the development and transformation of services over the rest of the year.
Local commissioners are encouraged to reintroduce local enhanced services, local incentive schemes and local pilots as part of "wider plans to step up routine and non-urgent services."
Although NHS England said practices will have to use their clinical judgement to prioritise the back-log of work, it must all be reinstated from 1 July.
To support general practice in these requirements, as well as making more funding available, NHS England said it is continuing to support an expansion of the workforce, is focusing on cutting bu-reaucracy, and modifying the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) requirements for 2020/21 to support practices as they reprioritise aspects of care not related to Covid-19.
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