As you are hopefully aware, NHSEI has now finally released the details of the COVID support fund for general practice. Practices must submit their claims before Tuesday 15 September.
You may submit claims for expenses outside the above list, but CCGs have been advised to consult with NHS England on whether any such claims are reimbursable. NHS England have also stated that PPE will be covered in a later round, with details awaited from DHSC.
We would encourage practices to ensure they are signed up to the central PPE portal ahead of September, as per CCG advice.
Specifics of what can be claimed and the rate of reimbursement to be expected are included in the annexes of the letter from NHS England which you should read in full before submitting a claim, this letter is attached below, but here is a quick summary:
- Funding will be provided to cover additional costs of:
- bank holiday opening (for Easter and May 8) including staff and non-staff costs
- services to care home residents (from 1 May to 30 September)
- additional capacity (from 23 March to 31 July) where supported by the Commissioner
- additional consumable expenses (including PPE)
- absence cover from day 1 (from 23 March to 31 July): practices which have provided full pay for employees who were unable to work will be able to claim the costs of cover
- Reimbursements will only be made where the additional costs are not offset by the income protection.
- Practices will be required to submit evidence and assurances as part of claims, along with a declaration form which states that they are true additional costs in line with the rules laid out in the guidance
- Local commissioners will manage the claims process via S96 funding and must approve claims for funding
- A post-payment verification process will require a sample of claims to be reviewed and verified
- Reimbursement will be made to cover all staff absences (from day 1 of absence to day 14 for GPs at the below rates and thereafter through the SFE provisions) and where full pay has been provided to the absent individual. The SFE provisions should still be used for non-COVID related sickness cover.
- Reimbursement will be made to cover additional capacity within practices (and to maintain capacity to cover absence), as follows:
- additional locum cover will be provided at £200/session or £250/session for OOH
- additional GP partner sessions will be provided at £289/session, up to two session per week per partner
- additional existing salaried GP sessions will be made in line with contractual rates
- additional temporary salaried GP sessions will be provided at £200/session or £250/session for OOH
- additional work from other staff groups (whether to cover absence or to provide additional capacity) will be provided in line with contractual rates (either for existing staff or temporary staff)
- Reimbursement will also be made for applicable employer National Insurance and pensions costs for each of the above staff groups.
- PPE costs will be covered directly by DHSC with details of the process to be released soon
- minor physical adjustments to buildings (eg Perspex screens and barriers) will be reimbursed
- additional cleaning materials will be reimbursed
- additional clinical equipment will be reimbursed
- Other additional consumable costs will be discretionary
Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer
Chief Executive, Cambs LMC