PCN DES Decision Making Tool

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Our new decision making tool provides a factually based, critical analysis and risk assessment of the PCN DES for this year, which practices can use to help you make an informed decision whether to remain opted in, or to opt out, of the DES.

Implications of both the “Opt In” and the “Opt Out” options are reviewed in the table and are grouped under the following headings:

  • Contractual
  • Financial/funding
  • Service specification requirements
  • Staff
  • Impact on patients

The deadline for practices to submit their decision remains 31 May 2020. We are emphasising this because we have been made aware that in some London areas CCGs have pressed practices to inform their PCN Clinical Directors (CDs) by 20 or even 15 May, so that CDs would be able to collate all practice responses and submit one single declaration on behalf of the whole PCN by 31 May. While this may have made the process administratively easier for commissioners, it is not in line with national guidance and practices are under no contractual obligation to act now. This is because, as the care homes issue has shown, we are in a rapidly evolving environment due to the Covid-19 pandemic and practices need to make a decision based on the most up to date information that is available to them which may mean that you choose to wait up until 31 May to submit your final your decision, for which our decision making tool should be of assistance.

Please note that even if you decide to opt in and notify your PCN and your CCG of this but then you reconsider before the deadline, you can still opt out as long as you declare this by 31 May at the latest. In that situation, please be aware that the notice requirement for opting out of the DES is one month, therefore if you opt out by 31 May this will not become contractually effective until 30 June.

As per our previous advice, the window for deciding to opt in or out of the DES is set and commissioners will only consider practice applications to opt out after 31 May in exceptional circumstances. Therefore, your ability to opt out of the DES outside of this set window will be limited, but we will be there to advise you if you find yourself in this situation. Once you have opted in, you will have committed to delivering the DES for the rest of this financial year and your next opportunity to opt out will not be until April 2021, when you will again have one month to decide.

Last updated : 20 May 2020