In my last message to you I talked about taking a simple and straightforward approach to establishing PCNs.
1. Word version of PCN Model Schedules
Recognising the specific circumstances that working in the Capital presents, we have drafted some PCN Model Schedules, co-produced with LMC Law, for use by PCNs within the Londonwide LMCs’ area. Neither Londonwide LMCs nor LMC Law are charging our PCNs or practices for this service. You can download the document here.
These Model Schedules are intended to help PCNs develop tailored Schedules, but it is up to each PCN to take appropriate legal and other relevant specialist advice to ensure the schedules are fit for individual needs. This is an iterative process and changes can be made to Schedules after this date, with the agreement of Members.
The contract states that by 30 June 2019 PCNs need to have completed the Schedules to the Network Agreement and confirm to the commissioner that the completed Network Agreement has been signed by all GP practices in the PCN. (s2.14; Network Contract DES, Contract Specification 19/20; April 2019). There is no requirement to submit completed schedules to commissioners.
Given the pace of change, we are looking further at the documents and may circulate additional updates next week as information is clarified.
2. Escalation process
LMCs, PCNs, practices and many CCGs have been working hard to ensure that requirement in the new contract for full coverage by PCNs is achieved by the end of June deadline and across London the picture is good. However, where local resolution has not been entirely possible for a given area the contract states: “Rather than approve each Network Contract one at a time, all the Network Contracts within a single CCG will be confirmed at the same time. This is to ensure that both: (a) every constituent practice of a CCG, and (b) 100% of its geographical area, are included with Primary Care Networks. Taken together, the Network boundaries within a CCG must always fully cover the CCG’s own boundary.” And: “Any delay in the commencement of the Network Contract DES will have an effect on payments that are linked to the Network Contract DES.”
As a nationally agreed and negotiated contract, there is no formal STP or regional resolution, although the commissioner has delegated responsibility for escalation to the regional teams.
In order to protect practices and prevent payments being missed, areas which are unable to secure CCG agreement for all plans with assistance from the LMC will, as per the contract, be escalated in June “for NHS England and GPC England [to] jointly work with CCGs and LMCs to resolve any issues.”
Londonwide LMCs is discussing a small number of such areas with GPC England well in advance of the end of June deadline, in the hope that no practices will be penalised unfairly for unresolved issues in their areas. Please alert us to any issues of which we may not be aware – email@example.com. And don’t forget that our BEAM to LMC app is a quick and easy way to alert us to other issues affecting you in your practice and distracting you from the day job of providing patient care.
3. Additional advice
Londonwide LMCs will be issuing additional advice on a number of areas covered by the PCN Schedules in due course, including Conflict of Interests, Voting, and Clinical Director Performance Management. GPDF have also issued advice on structuring your Primary Care Network which can be accessed here.
4. Workforce survey update
Finally, it is really important that we continue to make the case for general practice and we rely on you to help us to get that right, and to give us the evidence we need.
Please do fill in our most recent workforce survey if you haven’t already done so. You should have received a unique link sent directly to your practice which will show as being from me, via ComRes, with the subject line “Keep us up to date and have your say”. A reminder will be sent out on Saturday evening, with the same subject line. If you haven’t seen the original email, or you are having any issues accessing the link, please contact Rory Jackson, who is administering the survey at ComRes: firstname.lastname@example.org with your practice code.
The survey closes at midnight on Tuesday 18 June and we will be sharing headline results in July.
As ever – Please do let me have any views on these issues or others at email@example.com.