Capacity and Access Support Payments: The new contract introduces Capacity and Access Support Payments (CASPs) to provide additional resources for general practices. This funding aims to increase practice capacity, extend opening hours, and enhance the quality of services to improve patient access and experience.
Access to healthcare: The contract emphasises improving access to healthcare services by requiring GP practices to offer a minimum number of appointments per 1,000 registered patients. This change aims to reduce waiting times and ensure that patients receive timely care.
Patient experience: The 23/24 contract includes several measures to enhance patient experience, such as increased focus on continuity of care, ensuring patients can see a preferred healthcare professional, and implementing digital solutions to streamline appointment booking and prescription management.
Improved capacity: The introduction of CASPs is expected to have a positive impact on healthcare access by increasing the number of appointments available and reducing wait times. Practices can use these additional resources to hire more staff, extend opening hours, or invest in digital solutions to automate tasks such as appointment booking and digitally enabling patients to self-serve for other administrative tasks.
Enhanced access to care: By requiring practices to offer a minimum number of appointments per registered patient, the new contract aims to ensure that patients can access care when needed. This requirement could lead to more equitable access to healthcare services across the UK.
Better patient experience: The contract’s focus on continuity of care, patient preferences, and digital solutions will likely lead to improved patient satisfaction. These measures can help patients feel more engaged in their care, leading to better health outcomes and more efficient use of healthcare resources.
Optimise resource allocation: Healthcare providers should carefully assess their practice’s capacity and resources to make the most of the new CASPs. This may involve hiring additional staff, investing in digital solutions, or expanding services to accommodate the increased demand for appointments.
Monitor appointment availability: Practices should regularly monitor appointment availability and waiting times to ensure they are meeting the new contract’s requirements. This will help identify potential bottlenecks and areas for improvement, enabling practices to provide better access to healthcare services.
Enhance patient engagement: Healthcare providers should prioritise patient engagement by fostering continuity of care and allowing patients to see their preferred healthcare professionals. Additionally, practices should invest in digital solutions that streamline appointment booking and prescription management, making it easier for patients to navigate the healthcare system.
The NHS GP contract changes for 2023/24 offer a significant opportunity to improve healthcare access and patient experience. With the changes to the Impact & Investment Fund (IIF) and the introduction of the capacity and access support payments, there is great opportunity to address existing disparities in healthcare access and promote a more equitable healthcare system.
Healthcare providers should carefully consider the potential impact of these changes and implement both digital and non-digital strategies to optimise resource allocation, monitor appointment availability, and enhance patient engagement. By doing so, providers can ensure they are well-prepared for the new contract requirements and continue to deliver high-quality care to patients.
Primary care managers should:
For more information on the Capacity and Access Support Payments, click here.