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16 key questions to consider when reading the latest GP Contract changes published on 6th March 2023

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

As always, we provide resources to support Primary Care Network leaders.

A key part of the PCN Management role is to stay on top of guidance and quickly distil what warrants your attention and what can be skimmed over.

On 6th March, NHSE released changes to the GP Contract in 2023/24 found here. The document covers the following:

To help you make sense of this document and what this could mean for your network, we have provided 16 key questions for you to consider and build on.

When guidance comes out from NHSE, it’s tempting to;

  • Read the headlines and not the detail

  • Focus on the conversations happening on social media versus speaking directly to your network

  • React versus respond before giving the information careful thought and consideration

  • Make assumptions

When reading this particular document, I am trying to decipher:

  1. Who is the document for?

  2. What the document is about?

  3. What are the best forums to discuss this in my network, and are there any key aspects that we need to summarise to make it easier to digest?

  4. What key dates do I need to be aware of?

  5. What changes are being proposed, and what does this mean pratically for our network?

  6. What does our network perceive as the key opportunities?

  7. What changes are going to pose challenges/threats to our network, and what challenges are we already grappling?

  8. What is within our control?

  9. What could our QOF/long-term conditions/ IIF be at a PCN level?

  10. What services could be redesigned to enable access, and is this financially viable?

  11. How do the changes affect our workforce and business planning?

  12. What changes presented in the document are already in place?

  13. What other documents in the update do I need to read? ( 2023/24 priorities and operational planning guidance, Next steps for integrating primary care: Fuller stocktake report etc....)

  14. Who do we need to be talking to at system level?

  15. What assumptions am I / are we making?

  16. What are the current unknowns?

Build on these questions and edit and amend as you see fit.

Final thoughts

🎯 Read and reread the document, ask questions and let the answers to the questions above inform your business plan for 23/24.

I am in the process of talking to our networks and speaking to other leaders across the country to inform my thinking.

Lastly, for PCN Managers who may feel one step removed from day-to-day practice life. This document highlights the importance of not treating the PCN in isolation from your practice’s needs.

The devil, as always, will be in the detail.

This bog was published 7th March.

The 23/24 PCN DES was published on 30th March and can be found here.

I hope this helps!

About the Author

I'm Tara; I am the founder of THC Primary Care, an award-winning healthcare consultancy specialising in Primary Care Network Management and the host of the Business of Healthcare Podcast, where we have now published over 200 episodes. I have over 20 years of project management and business development experience across the private and public sectors, and I have supported over 50 PCNs by providing interim management, training and consultancy. I have managed teams across multiple sites and countries; I have an MBA in Leadership and Management in Healthcare, I'm published in the London Journal of Primary Care, and I am the author of over 250 blogs. I have 3 children. My eldest has Asthma, my middle child has a kidney condition called Nephrotic Syndrome, and my youngest daughter has Type 1 Diabetes, so outside of work, healthcare plays a huge role in my life.


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