Two new enhanced services available from 1 July 2021
NHS England is offering practices the voluntary opportunity to participate in two new enhanced services from 1 July 2021. These focus on two areas which are a priority to support recovery from the pandemic: long COVID and weight management.
Long COVID is an increasingly widespread condition, which can have a substantive impact on the quality of life of those affected by it. According to estimates by ONS, around 932,000 people were living with long COVID in England in the four weeks to the beginning of March. Therefore, to support general practice in managing this new and complex condition, NHS England will provide up to £30m from 1 July via a Long COVID Enhanced Service. This will support professional education, training and pathway development that will enable management in primary care where appropriate and more consistent referrals to clinics for specialist assessment. It will also support accurate coding and planning to ensure equity of access.
The Weight Management Enhanced Service encourages practices to develop a supportive environment for clinicians to engage with patients living with obesity about their weight, and provides up to £20m funding for referrals to weight management services. This enhanced service goes alongside a broader expansion of weight management services, including the launch of the NHS Digital Weight Management Service for those with hypertension and diabetes, and further investment into local authority tier 2 services.
These enhanced services have been proposed by NHSEI without agreement of BMA GPC. GPC are currently not meeting with NHSEI due to repeated communication to the press and public regarding general practice which has been negative.