DoH claims to have overspent on general practice by £1.7bn

Investment in general practice in England for the first three years of the new GMS contract was £1.7 billion more than the DoH had promised, according to latest figures.

The statistics come from The Information Centre for health and social care, which last year over-estimated GP earnings by 6 per cent.

The centre said financial returns have shown that the English government invested £20.5 billion in 2003 to 2006 – 9.2 per cent more than it promised under the Gross Investment Guarantee. The figures include quality payments.

According to the figures, in Wales the government invested £1.1 billion on general practice - £41 million or 3.7 per cent more than promised.

In Northern Ireland, the government invested £0.5 billion, £68 million or 14.2 per cent more than promised.

In Scotland, the government invested £1.8 billion over the three-year period. However, there is no comparable financial guarantee against which actual spend can be measured.

Overall, in the UK, a total of £24 billion was spent on general practice over the three-year period, said the centre.

The report has been agreed by a technical steering committee, whose members include the UK health departments, NHS Employers and the BMA’s GPs Committee.

View the report at www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/primary-care/general-practice.

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