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Network contract DES for 2020/21


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Network contract DES for 2020/21

Recognising the impact of COVID-19 on practices, and following the letter sent on 19 March setting out changes to the network contract directed enhanced service (DES), NHS England and NHS Improvement has published the network contract DES for 2020/21 alongside a cover note and associated guidance.

The cover note provides more detail about the changes to the network contract DES for 2020/21 which was agreed with GPC England to support practices and primary care networks to enhance their capacity and ability to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Practices and PCNs are already playing a vital role in the response to COVID-19 and practices are encouraged to sign up to the network contract DES (in line with the process set out in the specification) as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition onto the new arrangements.

PCC has summarised the explanatory note published by NHS England on 31 March 2020.

For at least the next six months, the response to COVID-19 will be the priority for practices. Specific changes to the Network Contract DES for 2020/21 include the following:

  • Postponement of the Structured Medication Review service requirements until 1 October.
  • The contractual start date for the Early Cancer Diagnosis specification is 1 October, but work should continue as originally planned unless there is a requirement to support the COVID-19 response.
  • The Enhanced Health in Care Homes requirements remain in place and under the current circumstances there is an expectation that digital technology will play an important role where it is clinically appropriate to do so
  • The introduction of the Investment and Impact Fund (IIF) has been postponed for at least six months. The funding previously allocated to the IIF will be paid to PCNs on the basis of their weighted populations at 27p per weighted patient for the period up to 30 September.
  • The IIF planned data collection exercise will continue but PCN income for the first six months will not be dependent upon performance.
  • The Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) will continue as planned but the requirement for PCNs to submit workforce plans for 2020/21 has been postponed until 31 August.  The requirement to submit indicative ARRS plans for 2021/22 to 2023/24 has been postponed to 31 October
  • Practices are urged to reconfirm their participation in the Network Contract DES as soon as possible.