August 2023 Newsletter

Included in this newsletter:  2023/24 DDRB Pay Guidance; Flu & Covid Vaccination Programmes; Amendments to Performers List regulations; Practice Managers Conference Date; Blue Badge Application issue.



Information, Guidance and News

SCR Requests for Blue Badge Applications

Recently it has been brought to LMC attention that Blue Badge applicants in Suffolk are insisting that GP practices provide a summary of an applicant’s clinical record as supporting documentation for an application, at the request of the SCC Blue Badge Team.

Following the changes introduced by the DfT in 2012 GPs were removed from having any role in the assessment process and we have contacted the SCC Blue Badge Team to express our concern.

While practices are expected to provide patients with a summary of their record for free this can introduce GDPR issues as there may be content not relevant to mobility issues that will need redaction.  This is a letter from the LMC for practices to share with applicants who seek this information explaining why it is not always straightforward.


The Recovery Hub, Ipswich

The Recovery Hub is a website that offers guidance and support for people experiencing problems with substance misuse and co-occurring mental health problems. It can be found here


Practice Managers Conference

In the expectation that we will have some information about the new GP contract for 2025/26 onwards and the follow-on to PCNs we have arranged for the conference to be held at the Athenaeum on 25th April 2024.  Please hold that date and the conference programme will be issued nearer the time.


BMA GPC Update

2023/24 DDRB Pay Award Guidance

The Government has announced its response to the DDRB recommendations for doctors’ pay in England which means that salaried GPs and all practice non-ARRS staff in England will receive a 6% uplift on a consolidated basis.


GP Contractors are in the final year of a 5-year multiyear agreement therefore the DDRB recommendation does not apply to GP Partners.


ARRS staff will receive a funded uplift in line with Agenda for Change as in previous years.


GPC has provided some further information here.


GPC England continues to liaise with the DHSC and Treasury to establish specific details about how this uplift will be calculated and funded to practices. As soon as we receive further information, we will share it with practices.



GPC England advice re: Influenza and Covid Vaccination Programmes

The contract wording of the enhanced service specification states clearly that the flu campaign commences on 1st September 2023. So, practices should continue to fill their already scheduled flu clinics for next month and deliver them as originally planned.


NHSE guidance makes it clear that all NHSE can do is “ask” practices to defer their flu clinics – and practices may politely decline to do this – it may not be in their patients’ best interests, and it may also cause instability and inefficiency in practices’ delivery of care. Further clarification, which is welcome, is that ‘Flu vaccines that are delivered in September will be honoured with the routine immunisation tariff payment of £10.06.


On the subject of the reduced Covid vaccination tariff of £7.54, I have written to Maria Caulfield MP, the minister for vaccinations and immunisations, as well as Neil O’Brien MP, minister for primary care. Ministers have a choice – the Covid environment has changed in the past week with a much greater appreciation of the infectiousness of the new Eris variant which stands to potentially adversely impact acute admission rates, and thus also the elective recovery programme and waiting lists in addition to our own workload. When the facts change, our opinions may also change – the DHSC has a window of opportunity to revert to the original commissioned plan which the JCVI felt was cost effective, prior to the cut of over 25% resource.


The BMA advises upon its own assessment that this makes the delivery of the COVID vaccination programme financially unviable for practices and PCNs. We therefore strongly urge you to consider the viability of participation in the COVID-19 vaccination programme.



GPC England Officer Team Elections

Members of GPCE (GPs committee England) voted me in as chair on 3 August, as well as three deputies: Dr David Wrigley, Dr Julius Parker and Dr Samira Anane. I am very grateful to GPCE for its support and pay tribute to the outgoing team for their commitment and hard work. As the committee begins a new chapter, our focus and greatest challenge is to safeguard the very survival of our profession.


I have written to Rishi Sunak and Steve Barclay to ask to meet with them to discuss how we can better redistribute investment into the core GP contract, because any other proposal stands to leave our nation’s health and finances much worse off. I look forward to setting out our vision, strategy and plan this autumn: to restore trust in the patient doctor relationship; champion GPs’ unique role as independent health advocates for our patients and focus on continuity of care – all three improve and lengthen patients’ lives, and sustain our own professional wellbeing too.



DHSC delays permanent introduction of Primary Care Doctors

Plans to permanently introduce flexibilities to allow many non-GPs to deliver primary care services without being on the Medical Performers List in England have been delayed by DHSC, following a consultation exercise which saw significant opposition by the BMA and others. DHSC still intends to press ahead with its plans at a future date, but acknowledged further details need to be worked through in discussions with stakeholders.


The BMA will continue to oppose the proposals in line with its published position statement. Separate amendments to the regulations will come into force on 18th September, including changes to inclusion on the list, a streamlined process for returners, and changes to a wide range of specific processes and requirements. The revised regulations can be found here, with new NHS England guidance expected in advance of commencement.

« Back to Latest News