The GP contract for 2018/19, which comes into effect on 1 April 2018, has been announced by NHS England, the Government, and the British Medical Association’s General Practitioners Committee.

An increased investment of £256.3 million accompanies the contract, with £60 million to be paid to GP practices to cover the increased costs of indemnity for the year 2017/18. The new contract brings focus to digital solutions that have potential to improve patient access and relieve doctor workload. Some actions agreed include:

  • completing the roll out of the Electronic Prescription Service
  • a further investment of £10 million to support full implementation of the e-Referral Service to make this available at every GP practice by October 2018
  • wider piloting of NHS 111 to directly book GP appointments (at participating practices).

The contract agreement also stipulates that private GP services should not be advertised where free treatment on the NHS should be available.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said: ‘The 2018/19 contract is a further concrete step in investing in and strengthening general practice, which is at the heart of our modern NHS.’