New contracts agreed by GPs and the Government will move away from a performance related pay structure and instead split funding between practice and hospital, to help doctors prevent elderly patients from unnecessary hospital trips.
According to the contracts:
- The quality and outcomes framework (QOF) - which financially rewards GPs for hitting targets in areas such as diabetes care - will be cut.
- Approximately £290 million of funding (238 QOF points) will be diverted to the core GP funding by stripping QOF points from the framework.
- A further 100 QOF points will be removed to help pay for a new enhanced service worth £162m a year for patients with complex health needs.
- Emergency care departments will have easier telephone access to GPs to decide whether or not a patient needs to be admitted.
- Patients will be able to book appointments online and access their summary medical record.
- In December 2014 patients will be asked how likely they are to recommend a GP practice.