A 0.5% increase in GP funding for 2012/13, announced this week, will translate into a cut of more than 2.5% in real terms, according to specialist medical accountants Ramsay Brown and Partners.
Laurence Slavin, a partner at the accountancy firm, said: ‘It’s bleak. GPs are running out of ways of preserving their profits.’
He said practices had already taken steps such as cutting back staff and working to limit other expenses.
‘They are cutting expenses, but not being given enough money to maintain their practices,’ Mr Slavin said.
‘They will have to cut their personal income, or the services they provide. I’ve been telling clients they can’t continue to provide a first-class service if the government only pays for a second-class service.
‘That’s the way things are going, and it’s immensely demotivating.’
Practices faced five-figure losses to income in 2010/11 as reviews of PMS contracts, the pay freeze on general practice and the drive for efficiency savings took effect.