A new contract is set to benefit practices in East London, with more regular payments being received by the surgeries via the overarching federation.
Tower Hamlets CCG has agreed a proposal to contract £5 million of local enhanced services with the GP Care Group.
This federation currently comprises the thirty seven practices active in the borough, and has been involved in the collaborated delivery of enhanced services in the region for some years.
The scheme is contracted through a network of four to five practices, with the model informing national policymakers’ plans to deliver more at-scale working.
This new arrangement will see the federation contracted by the CCG, with the intention of reducing transactional burdens on both practice networks and commissioners, while also streamlining the overall process.
While the total amount of funding received will not change, the way payments are proffered will be altered.
This previously occurred on a quarterly basis, but the new arrangements will see this switch to a monthly approach.
It is asserted that this will reduce the strain on practices to reconcile information and arrange payments, ultimately reducing the number of payment irregularities resulting.
GP Care Group chief executive Chris Banks states that a wide range of integrated services within the region will emanate from “each network looking at the management of its own incentive scheme and submitting and monitoring returns”.
“It’s really a consolidation of what was already there and trying to streamline it into one organisation,” Banks commented. “It’s potentially a move towards an accountable care system, with providers taking on more of the management of the contract.”
Despite the implementation of the new system, it has been announced that targets and key performance indicators will continue to be reviewed in the normal manner.
Negotiation between the LMC and CCG in the region will be involved in this process, while cashflow will be managed by the Federation.
No change to total overall funding is anticipated at this time.
Meanwhile, the authorities have announced that key performance indicators are to be reviewed on a quarterly basis, with a reconciliation for adjustments being implemented annually.
The aforementioned Banks believes that the changes will have minimal impact on the day-to-day working of individual practices.
Potential streamlining will come from consolidation of management work, such as data collection and cash flow, currently carried out at network level, releasing resources back into the system.
While responsibility for staffing services will continue to lie with practices, the CCG has said the new arrangement will enable ‘practices to share workforce ‘.
The CCG has also said the plan will allow for a more population-health approach to providing services.