Frailty to be part of the core GP contract from July 2017

Healthcare News

7 February 2017

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“New GP contract makes identifying frailty and supporting those with the condition a priority.”

The announcement of the new GP contract for 2017/18 included the following from NHS England:

Identification and management of patients with frailty

We have agreed a new contractual requirement to be introduced from 1 July 2017.

Practices will use an appropriate tool, e.g. Electronic Frailty Index (eFI) to identify patients aged 65 and over who are living with moderate and severe frailty. For those patients identified as living with severe frailty, the practice will deliver a clinical review providing an annual medication review and where clinically appropriate discuss whether the patient has fallen in the last 12 months and provide any other clinically relevant interventions. In addition, where a patient does not already have an enriched Summary Care Record (SCR) the practice will promote this by seeking informed patient consent to activate the enriched SCR.

Practices will code clinical interventions for this group appropriately. Data will be collected on the number of patients recorded with a diagnosis of moderate frailty, the number of patients with severe frailty, the number of patients with severe frailty with an annual medication review, the number of patients with severe frailty who are recorded as having had a fall in the preceding 12 months and the number of severely frail patients who provided explicit consent to activate their enriched SCR. NHS England will use this information to understand the nature of the interventions made and the prevalence of frailty by degree among practice populations and nationally. This data will not be used for performance management purposes or benchmarking purposes. 

Fusion48 Director Dr Sunil Angris responded to the announcement 

"Great to know that the new core GP contract will contain outcomes for improving the care to older people and those with frailty. Frailty, and it's effects on older people in particular is probably the single most important issue for the NHS & social care services to successfully tackle at present.  

General practice is the critical place from where to start laying the foundations of person-centred care which improves the quality of life to those receiving the services."