NHS England and CCGs investigating half-day closing sub-contracting arrangements

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NHS England and various London CCGs have been carrying out analysis of practices’ opening hours based on the information provided in their E-Declarations. Some commissioners have identified practices who have declared that they close for half a day per week and have examined their sub-contracting arrangements in line with the guidance issued by NHS England in December 2017.

In the majority of the cases that we have seen so far, commissioners have determined that the practices’ sub-contracting arrangements are not satisfactory as they are not meeting their patients’ reasonable needs. Their definition of patients’ needs is derived from the 2017 NHS England guidance.

Practices in this situation be given three months to either terminate their current sub-contracting arrangements and open throughout core hours (8:00am to 6.30pm), or make alternative arrangements with a sub-contractor who is able to provide access to services as defined in NHS England’s guidance. Practices have been warned that failure to comply with this Contract Advisory Notice will result in contractual action against them.

As NHS England’s guidance was issued by their national team, we have escalated this issue formally to the BMA’s General Practitioners’ Committee (GPC), because they are responsible for national level negotiations.

If your practice receives a formal breach/remedial notice from NHS England/your local CCG, please notify our GP Support team as soon as possible at: gpsupport@lmc.org.uk.

You may also wish to refer to our Winter Planning Guidance.

Last updated : 25 Jan 2019