Westminster Health Forum

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Priorities for general practice in England - the GP contract and the NHS Long Term Plan, the workforce, service redesign, safety, and learning from COVID-19

November 2020

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will be a timely opportunity to examine key issues and next steps for general practice in England.

The discussion is bringing stakeholders together with key policy officials who are due to attend from DHSC; the Cabinet Office; HM Treasury; DWP; the HSE; the NAO; the Government Legal Department and DCMS.

The discussion at a glance:

  • key and emerging issues for general practice including:
    • recruitment, retention and training
    • supporting GP wellbeing in the wake of COVID-19 and into the future
    • the impact of changes to indemnity
    • upgrading and enhancing practice infrastructure
  • the GP contract - implementation of changes to General Medical Services (GMS) contractual arrangements
  • the NHS Long Term Plan - priorities and issues for meeting its goals
  • innovation and service redesign - opportunities, including developments in the use of technology, with discussion on PCNs, digital services, regulation and the GP partnership model
  • COVID-19 - how general practice has been adapting and innovating during the pandemic and what can learned for the future

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

  • the National Institute for Health Protection - bringing together PHE and NHS Test and Trace to focus scientific evidence on public health protection, and lead the fight against COVID-19
  • The future of public health - the Health Secretary’s recent speech on the ambition to embed tackling health inequalities and preventing ill health across primary care, pharmacies and local authorities
  • New obesity strategy unveiled as country urged to lose weight to beat coronavirus and protect the NHS - the government announcement including:
    • incentives for doctors - aimed at ensuring that people living with obesity are given support for weight loss
    • healthy weight coaches - with the opportunity for primary care staff to be given training by PHE
    • social prescribing - encouraging GPs to prescribe exercise and social activities to help people keep fit
  • Investment and Evolution: Update to the GP contract agreement - revisions including extra GP and other primary care recruitment, and measures aimed at attracting, supporting and retaining staff
  • NHS doctors and dentists to receive 2.8% pay rise - backdated to April with the Government accepting in full recommendations from the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration Report
  • The response to COVID-19:
    • Innovation and inspiration - the CQC’s outline of best practice examples from across primary medical services, including remote healthcare and changes to service design and delivery
    • Standard Operating Procedure for general practice in the context of COVID-19 - guidance from NHS England and NHS Improvement
    • protecting vulnerable staff - risk assessments to protect those especially vulnerable on the frontline
  • Primary care networks - their development of across the country, and goals to offer Digital First Primary Care to patients by 2023/24

The discussion in detail:

  • the GP contract - discussing key issues for the delivery and the framework for services over the next five years, including progress on addressing workforce issues, improving the Quality and Outcomes Framework, and implementing the NHS Long Term Plan
  • The COVID-19 pandemic - with discussion expected on:
    • what can be learned - examining the general practice response, including care delivery across all patient groups, collaboration across local systems and resource sharing, using online and virtual consultations, and protecting staff wellbeing
    • the new normal - processes, practice and strategies that will stay in place after the pandemic recedes
    • service recovery - progress and issues with phasing back into reopening general practice and resume normal operations
    • policy implementation - implications for progress on the NHS Long Term Plan and other policy initiatives
  • the NHS Long Term Plan - beyond the impact of the pandemic, key issues for meeting targets in the NHS LTP, including utilising additional funding, supporting integrated care and commissioning arrangements, and developing education and training to support multi-disciplinary teams
  • the primary care workforce - priorities, and the progress of measures to address staffing shortfall and meet GP contract goals set out in the, assessing support through NHS Practitioner Health and next steps for addressing GP wellbeing, burnout, the cost of indemnity, and workforce morale, particularly during the pandemic
  • joining up services - Primary Care Networks and urgent care in local areas, in line with the aim of a stabilised GP partnership model and looking at priorities for developing network contracts, supporting the health of local communities, and development of multi-disciplinary teams
  • digital technology:
    • experience from the pandemic - opportunities for maintaining advances with increased patient access to remote consultations and GPs using new technology to care for patients at home
    • support - what more could be done to help practices in implementing digital technologies, widening access for patients, and developing commissioning arrangements
  • The future for primary care premises - following the General Practice Premises Policy Review and Health Infrastructure Plan (HIP)

The agenda:

  • Meeting goals within the NHS Long Term Plan for general practice and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Delivering effective care through the COVID-19 pandemic and how this can inform the future of general practice
  • Key issues for GP services in England: recruitment, retention and multi-disciplinary teams:
    • Priorities for education and training and developing the workforce
    • The impact of the new state-backed indemnity scheme for GPs
    • The developing role of pharmacists in care delivery
    • Primary care network support for care homes - during and beyond COVID
  • The future for the regulation of general practice - patient safety, care quality and increasing access to services
  • Moving forward with service redesign: new models of care, utilising technology, primary care estates, and learning from COVID-19:
    • Primary Care Networks and the role of GPs in integrating care
    • Key issues for digital-first primary care
    • Upgrading practice infrastructure: funding, design and development
    • Progress since the GP Partnership Review
  • Next steps for delivering the GP contract

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentarians from the House of Commons and officials from the Department of Health and Social Care; the Cabinet Office; HM Treasury; DWP; the Health and Safety Executive; the National Audit Office; the Government Legal Department and DCMS.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from the NHS, executive agencies including clinical staff, individual GP practices, regulators, local authorities, the independent and third sectors, patient groups, law firms, consultancies, and others affected by the issues discussed as well as academics and think tanks, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles