Revised Network Contract DES – key dates

The network contract DES for 2020/21 contains various key dates of which practices, PCNs and commissioners need to be aware. Key dates for 2020 are summarised in PDF HERE and are listed below.

The requirements for the new DES can be found in full HERE.

We will be posting a podcast on the specification later this week on our website.


From 1 April 2020

  • Extended hours access, social prescribing, enhanced health in care homes specifications apply.

By 31 May 2020

  • PCNs to notify commissioner of proposed changes to their PCN (such as changes to the nominated payee, membership, network area or clinical director) or confirm that there will be no changes.
  • Practices wishing to form a new PCN must apply to commissioner.
  • New practices or existing practices who have not formerly been in a PCN must notify commissioner if they are joining a PCN.
  • Practices wishing to opt-out of the DES must notify commissioner.
  • A practice who has been unable to identify a PCN willing to accept them as a core network practice must notify the commissioner.

By 12 June 2020

  • Commissioner must issue an instruction notice for approved changes in details of previously approved PCNs or newly approved PCNs.

By 30 June 2020

  • Where commissioner decides (after following required process of engagement with LMC) that a PCN must accept a practice as a core network practice, commissioner must notify the PCN.

By 31 July 2020

  • PCNs and commissioner agree care homes for which each PCN to have responsibility.

From 1 August 2020

  • Commissioners to arrange for care home premium to be paid.

By 31 August 2020

  • PCNs must submit a workforce plan providing details of additional roles recruitment plans for 2020/2021.

By 30 September 2020

  • PCNs must include details of their arrangements with local community service provisions in Schedule 7 of their network agreement.
  • Commissioners share estimated unclaimed additional roles funding with relevant PCNs and relevant PCNs and agree estimates with relevant PCNs.
  • PCNs work with community service providers and other relevant partner to establish and coordinate a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to deliver enhanced health in care homes and establish arrangement for the MDT to enable the development of personalised care and support plans for people in PCN aligned care homes.

By 1 October 2020

  • NHSE and NHSI to publish details of additional funding, criteria for such funding and details of how to claim, to be agreed with BMA’s GPCE.

From 1 October 2020

  • Structured medical review specification applies.
  • PCNs to start weekly “home rounds” in PCN aligned care homes and develop and refresh personalised care plans for residents.
  • PCNs must review referral practice for suspected cancers, contribute to improving national cancer screening programme uptake and establish a “community of practice” to support early cancer diagnosis.

By 31 October 2020

  • PCNs submit indicative intentions for additional roles through to 2023/2024.

If you would like to find out more about the Network Contract DES 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.