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Changes to scheduled and unscheduled care

Post date: 30/08/2017 | Time to read article: 2 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 14/11/2018

What does it mean?

Following feedback from you, we are pleased to announce some changes to how we set our GP membership subscriptions.

For the majority of our members these changes will not affect subscription rates. We do hope, however, that these changes will better reflect current and emerging patterns of primary care delivery in England and the rest of the UK. This change is part of our wider commitment to offering flexible membership options. 

What is changing?

For the majority of GP members we currently set subscriptions based on the number of weekly sessions undertaken.

Previously, we had two levels of pricing to help differentiate between levels of risk in primary care. These were defined as Core Hours sessions and Out of Hours sessions.

So, if you undertook sessions outside of your Core Hours (as defined in the GP contract as 8am to 6.30pm Mon-Fri) you could expect to pay an increased subscription rate for your Medical Protection membership.

However, if you took part in the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund, or a small amount of Out of Hours work, subscriptions were typically unaffected - we factored in a small number of Out of Hours sessions into your Core Hours subscription rate. For example, if you already worked 10 sessions a week, you could undertake two of those 10 weekly sessions outside of Core Hours at no additional cost.

Changes to GP subscriptions from 1 January 2016

We will continue to calculate a price based on the number of weekly sessions you undertake. However, instead of sessions being defined as Core Hours and Out of Hours, we are now classing them as Scheduled Care sessions and Unscheduled Care sessions.

We’ve done this to more accurately reflect today’s approach to primary care delivery.

In addition, what we previously called Core Hours sessions will now be Scheduled Care sessions. We define Scheduled Care as work undertaken during the scheduled opening hours of the practice (within 8am-8pm seven days a week) where registered patients are seen by appointment and where staff have access to the patient’s full general practice records. We also include patients from other practices where you have an arrangement to provide care during scheduled opening hours and there is access to full patient records.

Out of Hours sessions will now be called Unscheduled Care sessions. We define this as any work that falls outside the above Scheduled Care criteria, such as sessions undertaken at any time of day in walk-in/urgent care centres.

What do members need to do?

These new definitions will come into effect from 1 January 2016 and you will receive more information in your next membership subscription renewal documents. At your next renewal date, please let us know if you believe you are on an incorrect membership grade.

If you are currently on one of our Out of Hours membership categories and you believe you might be positively impacted by these change when we introduce them on 1 January 2016, please contact us to discuss your membership.

For more details on how this effects you, please contact our Member Services team on 0800 561 9000.

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