What is the named GP requirement?
By 31 March 2016 all practices will need to include on their website reference to the fact that all patients, including children have been allocated a named, accountable GP.
All practices are required to use the new code 'patient allocated named accountable general practitioner' to confirm the practice has allocated a GP to each patient by the 30 June 2015, or within 21 days if aged 75 or over or newly registered.
Will practices have to write to patients to tell them their named GP?
There is no requirement to write to any patients regarding their named GP. Practices are required to inform patients of their named GP at the next appropriate interaction and it is for practices to decide what is appropriate.
What does 'accountable' mean?
The contract requires the named accountable GP to take responsibility for the co-ordination of all appropriate services required under the contract and ensure they are delivered to each of their patients where required (based on the clinical judgement of the named accountable GP).
The contract remains 'practice based', so overall responsibility for patient care has not changed. This is largely a role of oversight, with the requirements being introduced to reassure patients that they have one GP within the practice who is responsible for ensuring that this work is carried out on their behalf.
Does the requirement mean 24-hour responsibility for patients?
No. The named GP will not:
- take on vicarious responsibility for the work of other doctors or health professionals
- take on 24-hour responsibility for the patient, or have to change their working hours. The requirement does not imply personal availability for GPs throughout the working week
- be the only GP or clinician who will provide care to that patient
Can patients choose their own named GP?
In the first instance, patients should simply be allocated a named GP. However, if a patient requests a particular GP, reasonable efforts should be made to accommodate their preference, recognising that there are occasions when the practice may not feel the patient's preference is suitable.
Do patients have to see the named GP when they book an appointment with the practice?
No. Patients can and should feel free to choose to see any GP or nurse in the practice in line with current arrangements. However, some practices may see this change as a way to encourage and promote a greater degree of continuity of care for patients