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GP Practices can now claim reimbursement for Covid-related costs

GP Practices have 6 weeks to submit claims to their CCGs for certain additional costs due to providing services during the COVID-19 response, such as bank holiday opening, providing services to care homes, and cover for staff who take sickness absences or shielding.

At present this reimbursement does not cover claims for PPE, although NHS England said there would be further communications on this at a later date.

NHS England released a letter to practices on 4th August explaining that they would be reimbursed for additional service costs incurred from 1st May to 30th September and that practices can now claim for additional costs from being open across the Easter and May bank holidays this year.

Practices can also claim for COVID-19 related absence cover from the first day of absence ‘where it was required to maintain necessary clinical and non-clinical capacity, staff could not work from home and the individual received full pay’.

The reimbursements will also cover any additional staffing costs between 23rd March to 31st July and for;

  • Minor building adjustments (e.g. installations of Perspex screens and barriers)
  • Additional cleaning materials
  • Clinical equipment (e.g. pulse oximeters and thermometers)

For any additional costs that practices have incurred, they would need to contact their CCG to discuss any further reimbursement – if commissioners agree that the practice needed additional clinical and non-clinical capacity as a result of COVID-19, then this will also be reimbursed.

The letter goes on to say that reimbursement claims relating to PCN staff members employed through the Network Contract DES Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme are not eligible under this funding.

NHS England has stated that these claims will only apply up to 31st July 2020 and all claims must be made within the next 6 weeks – from the 1st August, the usual contractual and legal positions will apply.

What costs can be Reimbursed?

Reimbursements will apply to the following (full details are available here);

  • Additional costs for bank holiday opening across Easter and 8th May 2020
  • Delivering additional services to care homes from 1st May to 30th September 2020
  • Absence cover (from 1st day of absence) due to COVID-19 for clinical and non-clinical capacity from 23rd March to 31st July 2020
  • Additional capacity (approved by commissioners) between 23rd March to 31st July 2020.
  • Locum GPs recruited for bank holidays will be reimbursed at OOH rates defined by NHS England
  • Costs for consumables required due to COVID-19 (not including PPE).
  • Costs for PPE will be communicated at a later date
  • Backfill for GP absence as a result of COVID-19 can be claimed from day 1 to 14 of absence – any further absences can be claimed from SFE provisions.
  • Backfill for non-GP practice staff can be claimed from day 1 for the length of the absence, up to the end of July 2020.
  • Reimbursement applies to GMS, PMS and APMS contracted practices.
  • Local commissioners (normally CCGs) will manage the claims process, although timescales for payments are subject to change by NHS England
  • Further non-staffing related costs must be approved by the CCG.

The full contents of the NHS England letter to GP Practices can be found here.

 


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