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Migraine in Primary Care Advisors

MIPCA Projects

Implications of the new GP contract to headache management

The recent introduction of a new GP contract in the UK has many implications for the delivery of primary care services. MIPCA has developed documents which review the main features of the contract and evaluate opportunities for the promotion of headache management services in primary care.

The new GP contract in the UK offers several opportunities to improve care at the primary care level. A flexible service provision is envisaged. GPs provide essential (mandatory), additional (most often provided) and enhanced (provided by trained specialists) services and Primary Care Organisations are able to both provide and commission services (although commissioning is not provided in Scotland). Support of all practice staff and investment are guaranteed. A new career structure for GPs is planned, with rewards for the quality and outcomes of services, which are assessed by audits. Common, important diseases are covered in individual clinical domains. The overriding objective is to provide better services for patients, designed around their needs, with support of educational and other special initiatives. The main challenge to the contract is the provision of sufficient investment to fund its full implementation.

MIPCA has set up several initiatives that dovetail with items in the new contract. Headache services have been improved by providing guidelines for GPs and specialist GPs with Special Interest in headache, educational programmes for healthcare professionals and education, guidelines and specialist programmes for patients. The main remaining challenge is to persuade the authorities to add headache to the clinical domains.


Bland A, Bradford S, Watson D et al. Implications of the new GP contract to headache management. Headache Care 2005;2:213–21.


Slide set

Headache audit document