Single Operating Model for Commissioning Primary Care

Details have been published of how primary care services will be commissioned under the reformed NHS system.

The NHSCB's single operating model sets out how the Board will directly contract GP practices pharmacy and ophthalmology services from April next year when it will take on many of the current functions of PCTs with regard to the commissioning of primary care health services as well as some nationally-based functions currently undertaken by the DH.  Currently they are contracted by PCTs which carry out the function in different ways around England. 

The document Securing excellence in commissioning primary care  describes the system by which the NHSCB will use the £12.6bn the NHS spends on commissioning primary care to secure the best possible outcomes for patients.

The board will have to work in partnership with CCGs which also have a duty to help improve primary care services. The operating model document says : "CCGs will not be responsible for contract compliance and will be able to focus on local priorities and supporting continuous development". 

Interestingly the document says: "The most significant task is to standardise the performance management frameworks and processes at practice provider and individual levels. This takes place at a time of major change for GPs as they move to a new regulatory framework including GP practice registration with the CQC potential professional revalidation and greater transparency of clinical indicators."

Other documents seen by the Health Service Journal indicate that the NHSCB's plans for primary care contract management indicate GP practices will be divided into three categories based on performance. Although the contract management framework has not yet been confirmed or published.  Watch this space!

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