Primary Care Commissioning Newsletter 2014 – Issue 12

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Primary Care Commissioning Newsletter 2014 – Issue 12

Gateway Reference: 01693


Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the new format of the NHS England Primary Care Commissioning newsletter. We do hope this electronic version proves more efficient for our readers. We are keen for you to tell us what you think and help the newsletter evolve.

Best Wishes,

Dr. David Geddes
Head of Primary Care Commissioning

In this issue

Hospital patients’ rights to primary care

We have sought recent legal advice in relation to the status of patients admitted to private psychiatric hospitals and their rights to access NHS primary care services.

Previous BMA guidance ‘Identifying Services that Should Not be Provided by GPs’ identifies situations where GPs may refuse to accept clinical responsibility for patients in secondary care institutions.

Following legal advice, NHS England is of the view that where a person is admitted to a psychiatric hospital for a period expected to be less than three months, that person is entitled to apply to register as a temporary patient with a GP under the registration procedure set out in Schedule 6 of the GMS Regulations.

Where a person is likely to stay for more than three months and wishes to change their GP registration to a local practice the issue is complicated by the fact that the change in the GP registration may affect the patient’s responsible CCG. Whilst these issues may need to be worked through on a case-by-case basis, as a general rule, patients in these circumstances should still able to apply to register with a local GP should they wish to do so.

We are to have further discussions with the BMA with a view to reviewing the guidance. In the meantime, if there are local issues arising with regard to registration of patients currently resident in a private health facility, please contact the national support team for further advice and information.

Emerging findings on a future strategy for commissioning general practice services

We have now published our emerging findings on a future strategy for commissioning general practice services. (Gateway Reference Number 01258). Building on the outcome of engagement with stakeholders in 2013 under “a call to action” for general practice, the report focuses on the central role NHS England wants general practice to play in wider systems of primary care. It describes our ambition for greater collaboration with clinical commissioning groups in the commissioning of general practice services. Transformational change will be led locally by area teams and CCGs, but we will outline the work underway nationally to support it. In addition, we have published an independent analysis of the responses received during last year’s engagement around this call to action. We will be engaging further with patient groups, other partners and stakeholders over the next few months at national and local level to further shape our thinking

We welcome your further thoughts on how these emerging findings can enable us to work together to create consistently high quality and sustainable services for the future. Please contact

Implementation Guidance Published for 2014/15 GP Contract

Implementation guidance is now available to support practices and NHS England’s area teams on implementing the GP contract changes that came into effect from 1 April 2014. (Gateway reference number 01381)  NHS Employers have produced guidance covering all the main changes agreed with the BMA General Practitioners Committee and NHS England has produced additional guidance on the funding changes that apply to the Personal Medical Services(PMS) and Alternative Provider medical Services (APMs) contracts. Further detail can be found on the NHS Employers website and the NHS England website

Successful PM Challenge Fund Pilots Announced

More than seven million patients across England will benefit from innovative pilot schemes and extended access to GP services, funded by the £50m Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund. Twenty GP collaborations have been awarded funds to run pilots for one year that will transform primary care services for patients, as part of the national initiative being overseen by NHS England.  NHS England will be working with the successful schemes to share learning with all GP practices and spread innovation.   Details will be updated on the NHS England web site.

Framework for managing performer concerns

Medical Directors should be aware of plans to run regional training for all panel members who will be asked to sit on the Performance Advisory Groups ‘PAG’ (formally the PSG) and Performers List Decision making Panels (PLDP). Area Teams will be offered 15 places on a 1 or 2 day training event which will cover the competencies required under the new framework.

Further Case Investigator training is planned for 14/15. If ATs have nominees for future training events, they should contact

We would recommend that Area Teams don’t plan to fund their own training events. For further information please contact Dr. David Geddes Head of Primary care commissioning.

General Optical Council (GOC) Publish Details of Changes to Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS)

The Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS) has been operating for some years. It provides mediation for complaints regarding the goods and services provided by optical professionals, such as obtaining refunds for faulty glasses. It is free for consumers.

This service is often referred to in the complaints procedures of Ophthalmic Contractors as a point of contact for those who have issues that may not be dealt with by the NHS. The GOC has advised that the service provider changed on the 1st of April to Nockolds, so practice policies will now need to be updated to reflect the new contact details given below. Although we expect the optical profession to inform optometrists, area teams may find it helpful to raise awareness of this change through local newsletters or when out on visits. More information can be found at the OCCS web site.

New OCCS Contact Details:

2-8 Market Square
Bishops Stortford
CM23 3UZ

Tel: 0844 800 5071 / 01279 712584

Smoke free and smiling guidance

Public Health England published ‘Smoke free and Smiling: Helping dental patients to quit tobacco’ on Wednesday 12 March coinciding with national ‘No Smoking Day’. The guidance provided dental teams advice on how to support their patients to stop smoking or chewing tobacco which includes signposting them to local stop smoking services. This is the second version which focuses on giving very brief advice using a ’30 second approach’ so it fits easily within the dental teams usual routine and does not overwhelm the patient. This guidance document is aimed at dental teams, dental educators and commissioners of both dental services and local stop smoking services, all of whom can contribute to helping patients quit tobacco in a dental setting and, in doing so, save lives.

Patient Information Leaflets –dental

Dental contractors are required to produce patient information leaflets. Regulations prescribe what should be in those leaflets.  At the moment there is a requirement that the leaflets include references to NHS Direct and NHS Direct online.As NHS Direct ceased to exist on 1 April 2014 this requirement was removed from the regulations. NHS Direct and NHS Direct online are also referred to within the General Dental Service contract and standard Personal Dental Services agreements which have also been updated to reflect these changes.

LDC Levy Collection 2014/2015

Following David Geddes’ letter in respect of LDC’s dental practitioners levies (Area Team Reference number: 01402) we have consulted with the BDA, NHS Employers, LDC members and NHSBSA in order to decide how levies should be collected under the responsibility of NHS England. The outcome of these consultations are that from 1st April 2104, each Area Team will collect one levy and pay into one bank account to a nominated LDC chairperson.  Each Area Team will need to decide who their nominated chairperson will be and then decide what type of levy is required. This should then be entered into the NHSBSA payments online system, which will be ready to accept these towards the end of March 2014, and the payee and bank details should be sent to the Customer Liaison Manager (CLM) responsible for your area. The details of who your CLM is are on the NHSBSA website under the Helpdesk tag and they can be contacted anytime to supply further instruction if required.

NHS Dental Services – New Financial Year Changes and Developments

NHS Dental Services have written to providers with information about important developments taking place in the new financial year. They relate to system transformation; moving to paperless; referrals for advanced mandatory services; observations; the two month rule; and new data items.

Full detail on all items listed above has been provided in recent payment schedules. A full copy of this document can be obtained at the following link

Commissioning and Managing Dental Contracts and Agreements

NHS England has a single operating model for commissioning and managing dental contracts and agreements.  This includes an expectation that dental contracts and agreements which deliver:

  • less than the required level of activity (96%) will have recoveries made up to 100% of the contract value
  • between 96 to 100% of the required level of activity will have the remaining activity carried forward to the next contract year as set out in the Regulations and the State of Financial Entitlement ( SFE)
  • between 100 and 102% of activity will either be paid for the additional activity or it will be credited to the following contract year – this is at the discretion of the Area Team (as it is an NHS England policy decision not a requirement of the Regulations or the SFE).

Area Teams are expected to apply and modify the single operating model flexibly according to local priorities and circumstances, so dental providers should discuss with their local Area Team.

SFE Claims for Payment

In order to ensure a robust procedure for the claiming of maternity, paternity and long term sickness, it has been necessary to insert into the State of Financial Entitlement (SFE) claim form a statement that informs Providers that the claim will be paid on the estimated net pensionable earnings on the Payments on line (POL) system at the time the claim is processed. Please ensure figures are correct before the claim is submitted as there will be no opportunity for recalculation.

In order to ensure NHS BSA pay according to the administrative instruction on Part 3 under 11.4 of the SFE they will expect all claims for business rates to be made within the three months window. Also it has been agreed payments for business rates for a different address, for extended premises which show a substantial increase from last year’s payments or if the small business rates have not been claimed will be clarified with the Provider and or Area Team’s before any payment is made.

Primary medical care functions delegated to Clinical Commissioning Groups: Guidance.

NHS England has the power to direct a CCG to exercise any of its functions relating to the provision of primary and medical Services. This guidance sets out the arrangements for CCGs to commission out-of-hours primary medical services for their area.

The guidance, Gateway Reference 01411, is now live on the web site. The link to the document is: and the link to the page is

NHS England’s ambition to Reduce Premature Mortality: a resource to support commissioners in setting a level of ambition

The planning guidance, published in December,(Gateway number 01000) asked CCGs to set levels of ambition for making progress against the NHS Outcomes Framework

To support this task, NHS England has produced a resource (Gateway number 00860) which sets out the interventions which would have the highest impact in reducing premature mortality, including comparative benefits and costs (where known).   The resource was produced in partnership with the Commissioning Assembly Quality Working Group, NHS Improving Quality, NHS England and Public Health England.

The resource will continue to evolve as materials are developed.

NHS England Area Team Conference at Health+Care 2014

The Commissioning Show is the largest national event for the healthcare sector and delivers a world class conference programme that assists the most senior professionals tasked with delivering change. 15 streams of content will give delegates the clarity, advice and inspiration they need to run more efficient organisations and implement cost saving initiatives. In addition to an unrivalled speaker line up across a CCG Business, Area Team, Integration, General Practice and Technology stream, more than 450 exhibitors make up the largest sourcing floor in primary care. Attendees will learn and source more information by visiting the Commissioning Show for one day than months of researching remotely. The event takes place on 25/26 June beginning at 8.30am, at Excel, London.

Advertising and appointments of LPN Chairs

Within issue 9 (gateway reference number 00617) of the primary care newsletter area teams were advised to ensure that when recruiting to LPN Chair positions that the job specification was not specific to a particular sector. This was to ensure that the widest possible calibre of candidates could apply for this very important role. Unfortunately there has been a recent instance where the advertisement has been sector specific. Although the job description was not sector specific, the advert has naturally caused concern as NHS England provided assurances this would not happen again. To provide further assurances that this will not occur in the future, NHS England will ensure that future recruitment campaigns will be repeated.

Updated Primary Care Commissioning Policies

The following policies/procedures have all been updated and are now uploaded on to the NHS England website at:


Eye Health


Any queries around these policies or any other primary care commissioning policies should be addressed to


Primary Care Policy Development Groups (PDG)s

The Primary Care Commissioning teams have set up Medical, Dental, Pharmacy and Optometry policy development groups and are looking for additional members for each of the groups. We are looking for volunteers who would be interested in sharing theirexpertise with the group as well as anyone who either has a particular interest in working nationally with thegroup, or previous experience in these areas so that we can develop both new and existing policies with as much input as possible.   Meetings are set up in advance on a monthly basis but only take place as required and although this work will not involve a huge commitment for members with regards to time, it will provide invaluable input to help provide NHS England with a robust set of policies and procedures which will benefit everyone. If you would like to be involved in these groups please contact Helen Parkin for Medical and Pharmacy or Sue Pritchard for the Dental and Optometry at or

New Educational Development: Post Graduate Certificate Commissioning and Dental Advising

The Postgraduate Certificate Commissioning and Dental Advising is a brand new, innovative and exciting development in the School of Medicine and Dentistry at UCL, which has been developed in collaboration with the National Association of Dental Advisors (NADA). The course will begin in September 2014 and is aimed at professionals working in dentistry who wish to develop their role as an advisor to the profession, in the emerging and changing world of dentistry. The course curriculum has been developed with input from the profession and will continue to evolve to reflect the current climate.

The Postgraduate Certificate consists of three 20 credit modules all delivered by a team of educational and professional specialists. Each module will be delivered over a semester with 5 contact days and an additional induction day in the first module.

For further details on the content of the modules, entry requirements and how to apply, please visit

If you wish to speak to the Course Leader, please contact Vicky Buller, Senior Lecturer Dental Education Programs at or on 01772 895879


Q & As

How long do Area Teams need to keep contracts and contract applications?

The relevant retention periods should be taken from the NHS Code of Practice on Records Management (Department of Health, 2006). This sets out retention periods for various categories of document.

In relation to contracts, the retention period is set at 6 years after their termination. In relation to contractor applications, these should be retained for 6 years following the termination of the contract to which they relate. If a contract is not issued following a contract application, then the application should be retained for 6 years following the date of refusal.

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