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BMA chair urges CCGs to enforce new hospital contract to reduce GP workload


2 November 2016

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Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are “fundamental” in enforcing the revised hospital contract to relieve workload pressure on general practice, urged the chair of the GP committee at the British Medical Association.

Speaking to delegates at Commissioning Live in Liverpool today, Dr Chaand Nagpaul revealed that GPs are still receiving requests from hospitals to re-refer patients who have missed hospital appointments.

This is despite the standard contract, which was revised for 2016/17, no longer requiring this practice.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are “fundamental” in enforcing the revised hospital contract to relieve workload pressure on general practice, urged the chair of the GP committee at the British Medical Association.

Speaking to delegates at Commissioning Live in Liverpool today, Dr Chaand Nagpaul revealed that GPs are still receiving requests from hospitals to re-refer patients who have missed hospital appointments.

This is despite the standard contract, which was revised for 2016/17, no longer requiring this practice.

“I continue, as you do, getting letters telling me it's trust policy to discharge a patient after missing an appointment,” said Nagpaul, who added that changes to the hospital contract "don’t just happen".

He said: “It's vital that we collectively hold hospitals to account to deliver on their contract and that means the CCG as commissioners are fundamental – that's their job to performance manage and make sure that their providers adhere to their contract.”

The BMA has provided GP practices and local medical committees (LMCs) with template letters “to hold CCGs to account”, informing them of when trusts have not adhered to the new contract.

Nagpaul called on the GP delegates to “exercise our right as members of CCGs and demand that the CCG doesn't just get on with other priorities”.

“It is the CCG's job to make sure that this phenomenon of workload shift comes to and end,” said Nagpaul.

He added that hospitals sending patients to GPs inappropriately has accounted for 15 million wasted GP appointments.

He said: “We are letting practices know that they are recipients of breeches in the hospital contract and we've produced templates that every practice can use to push back on these breeches and also inform their CCG.

“If we don't do that, we won't put an end to this culture of simply passing workload inappropriately on to practices.”

Nagpaul urged GPs to audit the letters sent to CCGs so that the BMA can take the case of hospital contract breeches to a national level.

LMCs have also been given template letters to send directly to hospitals asking them to demonstrate how they will adhere to the new contract.

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