The ICG was first established as an interim arrangement to deal with problems during the implementation phase of the new GMS contract. It was re-established in response to calls from Local medical committees (LMCs) for involvement from General Practitioners Committee (GPC) and the Department of health in local disagreements with PCOs that could not be resolved and which were inappropriate for formal dispute resolution procedures.
Membership of the ICG
The ICG dealt with both local and national problems arising from the interpretation of the GMS contract regulations and guidance and provided a final recommendation on matters raised. The group considered England only issues. However, this did not prevent matters of principle being disseminated to colleagues in the three devolved nations in order to pool information and share best practice.
Membership of the ICG comprised of a negotiator from the three National negotiating parties – Department of Health, NHS Employers and the General Practitioners Committee.
ICG Contestability Guidance
As a significant proportion of the cases referred to the ICG related to local enhanced services the ICG developed best-practice guidelines for PCTs, LMCs and practices. These best-practice guidelines were used by the ICG where the contestability test applies in individual cases in relation to disputes regarding the use of the enhanced services floor.
The following steps were to be considered when a PCT, SHA and LMC wanted to refer a case to the ICG:
- Step 1 - SHAs, PCTs and LMCs encouraged to try and resolve disputes locally and refer to learning from the Implementation Co-ordination Group document which details the recommendations made on several cases previously referred to ICG. If the dispute is regarding Enhanced Services, then the Enhanced Services FAQs can also be consulted.
- Step 2 - If the dispute remained unresolved then the LMC was asked to discuss the dispute with their regional liaison officer at the GPC and PCTs/SHAs to discuss the dispute with local NHS PCC Advisor.
- Step 3 - If the dispute remained unresolved, then the dispute can be submitted to the ICG using the submission form via regional liaison officer to GPC or SHA to NHSE or Department of Health.