Revised Network Contract DES for 2020/21 published

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) has just published the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service (DES) for 2020/21 alongside associated guidance, which can be found HERE.

NHSEI recognise that the rapidly increasing COVID-19 pandemic is placing different pressures on general practice, and that, for at least the next six months, the response to COVID-19 will be the priority for practices. Accordingly, Nikki Kanani and Ed Waller’s letter of 19 March sets out a number of activities practices and PCNs may suspend or postpone in order to free up capacity, which can be found HERE.

In summary, the specific changes to the Network Contract DES for 2020/21 are as follows:

  • the implementation date for the Structured Medication Review service requirements has been postponed until 1 October;
  • networks should “make every effort” to begin work on the Early Cancer Diagnosis specification unless COVID-19 response intervenes, although the contractual start date is deferred until 1 October;
  • the introduction of the Investment and Impact Fund (IIF) has been postponed for at least six months but £16.25 million of earmarked funding (27p per weighted patient) will be “recycled” as PCN support funding for the period ending on 30 September 2020; and
  • the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme will continue as planned.

NHSEI have also published the Vaccinations and Immunisations Directed Enhanced Service (DES) and Enhanced Service (ES) specifications for 2020/21, but have only made minor changes to this year’s service specifications, mainly to update the dates but with no changes to service delivery.

If you would like to find out more about the Network Contract DES, issues arising from your practice from COVID-19 and how we can assist your practice generally, please contact our specialist team.


Contact our GP advice line

Dial 020 7839 0278 and ask for the GP Advice Line.
Our team of experts can offer GPs and members of their teams up to ten minutes’ free preliminary advice with a solicitor.

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