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New NHS General Practitioner Contract to Improve Access to After-Hours Care and Digital Tools

Country Correspondent: Molly Fitzgerald

A new general practitioner contract took effect April 1, 2018, with a 3.4 percent increase in investments to improve access to care. This will help complete the national rollout of the Electronic Prescription Service and e-Referral Service, which will help GPs and patients identify hospitals with the shortest wait times. In addition, local GP practices are working together to make evening and weekend appointments available in all areas of the country starting in October. The contract also specified that GP practices are not permitted to advertise private services that should be provided free within the National Health Service (NHS). Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said that the contract is “a concrete step in strengthening general practice, which is at the heart of our modern NHS.”

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