NHS England has issued updates on how the Network DES requirements
for 2020/21, revised to allow for the COVID-19 response, will be implemented. Although
much of the new work is to be delayed, practices are encouraged to sign up for
the DES as soon as possible.
NHS England announced
in mid-March that some aspects of the Network contract DES would be changed
due to the COVID-19 outbreak, to delay two of the new service specifications,
the new Impact and Investment Fund and the deadline for submitting plans for
has now been released, including publication of the full revised Network DES
specification and guidance.
Structured Medication Review service is postponed until 1 October, with this
date being kept under review.
contractual start date for the Early Cancer Diagnosis specification is 1 October
and practices are urged to make ‘every possible effort’ to begin work on this
unless COVID-19 response work intervenes.
Enhanced Health in Care Homes requirements remain in place, although NHS England
notes that digital technology will play an important role in delivery of the
service remotely, where clinically appropriate, under the current
and Impact Fund
of the Investment and Impact Fund (IIF) is postponed for at least six months.
England will recycle £16.25m of funding previously earmarked for the IIF into a
PCN support funding stream – which will be paid on the basis of a PCN’s
weighted population at 27 pence per weighted patient for the six-month period
to 31 September 2020.
equates to half the total IIF funding, except the previously anticipated
payment for flu immunisations where activity was not expected to commence until
September in any event.
remaining IIF funding will be agreed with BMA GP Committee England later in the
year as the impact of COVID-19 becomes clearer, and will be communicated to
practices before 1 October.
collection to inform the IIF will continue as planned (which will help to
understand the impact of COVID-19 on PCNs) and, where possible, PCN performance
reported against the previously anticipated IIF metrics via the PCN dashboard.
However, PCN income for at least the first six months of the year will no
longer be contingent on this performance.
England says increasing general practice capacity is ‘more important than ever’
Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme will continue as planned: offering 100%
reimbursement of actual salary and defined on-costs, up to the maximum amounts,
for ten PCN roles.
requirement for PCNs to submit their workforce plans for 2020/21 is postponed until
the end of August, and to submit indicative plans for 2021/22 to 2023/24
until the end of October, to ensure that PCNs can focus on their
recruitment activity as a priority to build capacity.