Funding gap between GMS and PMS GP contracts fell 40% in a year

The gap in funding per patient between GMS and PMS practices fell by almost 40% in 2015/16 as PMS reviews slashed funding from locally negotiated contracts, official NHS data reveal.

GP practices across all contract types received an average of £142.62 per patient in 2015/16, up just over £1.50 from £141.09 in 2014/15, data from NHS Digital reveal.

Average funding per patient for PMS practices was £144.32, while GMS practices received £140.13 and APMS practices £184.10.

The funding gap between PMS and GMS practices narrowed markedly compared with 2014/15, the latest data show. In 2014/15, PMS practices received £6.79 more on average per patient than their GMS counterparts - but the difference has decreased to £4.19 for 2015/16 - a 38% drop.

GP funding

The narrowing gap reflects the drive across England to equalise funding across the two contract streams through waves of PMS reviews, which have delivered huge funding cuts to some PMS practices and left many struggling to survive.

Data released by NHS Digital also confirm significant numbers of GP practices abandoning PMS contracts and returning to the nationally-negotiated GMS deal, while a reduction in overall practice numbers suggests that more than 100 closed or merged.

The figures reveal 4,892 practices with GMS contracts in 2015/16 compared with just 4,480 the year before, while numbers of PMS practices fell from 3,190 in 2014/15 to 2,653 in 2015/16.

GP contracts

PMS practices make up 34% of the total 7,841 GP practices in England in 2015/16, compared with 40% of the 7,959 in 2014/15.

Significant variations remain in levels of practice funding between CCGs, the latest figures reveal, although again the gap has narrowed in 2015/16.

Practices in North Norfolk CCG received the most funding per weighted patient with £211.88, while practices in North Manchester received the least, at £110.41.

In 2014/15, North Norfolk practices received £215.13 - the highest CCG average in England - while West Lancashire CCG practices received £105.19.

Photo: iStock

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