Exclusive: PCTs freeze PMS pay despite DoH advice

One in four PCTs froze PMS pay in 2009/10 despite DoH advice to award uplifts, a GP newspaper investigation has revealed.

Dr James Kingsland
Dr James Kingsland

Responses from PCTs show that others allowed uplifts only for practices with low income per weighted patient, or applied uplifts below the level recommended by the DoH.

In April, DoH director of primary care Ben Dyson wrote to PCTs advising them to raise PMS core funding by at least 0.7%, in line with the minimum amount GMS practices received in 2009/10.

GP newspaper asked all PCTs what uplift PMS practices actually received. Of the 30 to respond, seven (23%) admitted freezing PMS pay.

Others said they had only allowed uplifts to practices that earned less than £63.21 per weighted patient. The DoH letter, however, pointed out that practices in this category should receive ‘no more than 0.7%' — in line with the rise for GMS practices.

A handful of PCTs, however, gave higher rises to practices with low income per weighted patient to bring them in line with better-off practices.

More than 42% of GP partners now work under PMS contracts. National Association of Primary Care president Dr James Kingsland, who helped develop the contracts, said PCTs were ‘raiding budgets' without considering why PMS practices receive more funding than their GMS counterparts.

‘It shows a lack of understanding of what PMS is and why there are differences in contract values,' he said.

PCT Network director David Stout said the guidance was not obligatory and PCTs ‘have the freedom not to follow it'.

  • Read the full version of this story in this week's issue of GP dated 25 September
  • Email Tom at the address above with your experiences of PMS pay negotiations.

 

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