DDRB deal will cut correction factors

Practices facing real-terms global sum cut await details of DoH's 1.5 per cent top-up.

Most practices will receive no extra income from a global sum increase in 2008/9 because correction factors are to be cut.

Despite the DoH announcing a 2.7 per cent increase in global sum funding this week, the majority of practices will see no rise.

This is because income for the 90 per cent of practices with MPIGs has been frozen.

BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum described it as 'a further slap in the face for GPs'.

Originally, the correction factor 'floated' above the global sum, so when the global sum rose, the correction factor was unchanged - effectively allowing the MPIG to increase.

However, this year's recommendation by the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB) states that the contract was revised in 2006/7 to allow the correction factor to be reduced.

This means that despite an increase in global sum payments, the MPIG will remain the same and the difference between the two will simply grow smaller.

Because only a small number of practices will benefit from the 2.7 per cent rise, the DDRB calculates that expenditure will rise by just 0.2 per cent.

The remaining 1.3 per cent promised in England and Scotland, and possibly Wales, will be used to fund enhanced services in clinical areas. Heart failure, osteoporosis and peripheral arterial disease are favourites.

Laurence Slavin, a partner at medical accountants Ramsay Brown & Partners, said that only MPIG practices with small correction factors would see a global sum rise.

'I have very few practices that have a small enough correction factor to receive a pay rise,' he said. 'The average practice will get nothing.'

GPC member Dr Eric Rose said the government had reneged on its 2004 pledge to keep the correction factor in perpetuity.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

Review Body report

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