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General Practitioners: Contracts

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 134398, tabled on 4 March 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the definition of meeting reasonable needs in the GMS contract is; and what steps his Department takes in the event that the level of demand on general practice is deemed to be unreasonable.

Answered on

10 March 2022

Under the GP Contract, contractors must provide essential services. The Contract defines essential services as those services which practices must provide to meet the ‘reasonable needs’ of their registered and temporary patients in core hours. This includes providing consultations, referrals and ongoing treatment and care as necessary and appropriate. This places broad responsibilities on practices while allowing a level of clinical discretion to determine how to meet patients’ reasonable needs. Clinical commissioning groups are also responsible for monitoring and responding to demands placed on general practitioners and their teams.