GP Contract QOF

GP Contract changes for 2021 at a glance

The BMA has announced details of this year’s updates to the GP contract. Read our summary of the key changes below.

The updated contract includes what the BMA describes as ‘minimal changes’, to provide practices with ‘support and stability’ through the Covid pandemic.

Key updates

  • Four new PCN service specifications due to start in April have been postponed. (CVD diagnosis and prevention, tackling inequalities, personalised care and anticipatory care.)
  • Seven new indicators will be added to QOF – four on vaccinations and immunisations, two on serious mental illness (SMI) and one on cancer, with extra funding to support SMI health checks. What aspects of QOF will be implemented from April will depend on the pandemic situation.
  • No new QI modules will be introduced in 2021/22 – instead early cancer diagnosis and learning disabilities modules will be repeated
  • Childhood immunisation target payment system replaced with complete Item of Service fee payment system
  • The cervical screening additional service will become an essential service.
  • A new ‘London weighting’ premium is being incorporated into the maximum ARRS reimbursement costs
  • The cost of hiring mental health practitioners under the Network ARRS will be split between PCNs and community trusts
  • A new obesity and weight management enhanced service is under consideration with a view to being implemented during 2021/22

Other changes coming in from April include:

  • The maximum ARRS funding available increases from £430m in 2020/21 to £746m in 2021/22, as previously agreed.
  • Other contract uplifts, such as to global sum (2.1% pay and expenses increase, for population growth) and the IIF (to £150m in 21/22, with at least £30m to incentivise access), will also go ahead as planned.
  • PCN DES Structured Medication Review and Early Cancer Diagnosis services will undergo ‘minor’ updates.
  • The transfer of clinical pharmacists to PCNs from the Clinical Pharmacist in General Practice scheme will be allowed from 1 April to 30 Sept 21.
  • The current arrangement that means practices operating a ‘total-triage’ / ‘triage-first’ model do not have to meet the 25% online booking contract requirement will be extended from April.
  • Patient consent for electronic repeat dispensing will no longer be required on a permanent basis, following its removal during the pandemic.
  • NHS England will collect data on practice staff terms and conditions to inform guidance and explore how to make gender pay gap information ‘more transparent’ in 2021/22.
  • A ‘more timely’ transfer of records for patients who move between practices will become a contractual requirement.

Full details available so far can be found in this letter to GP practices.


NHS England. Supporting General Practice in 2021/22. Letter from NHS England and NHS Improvement and the British Medical Association (BMA) General Practitioners Committee (GPC) England setting out further measures to support general practice in 2021/22. 21 January 2021

BMA. GP Contract agreement England 2021/22. 21 January 21

See also:

NHS England » Investment and Evolution: Update to the GP contract agreement 2020/21 – 2023/24

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