GPs reject revised global sum formula

Only 29 per cent of GPs support changes to the GMS global sum formula proposed earlier this year, according to a joint GPC and NHS Employers study.

The finding emerged from consultation on proposals published in February by the Formula Review Group (FRG), comprising GPC and NHS Employers negotiators.

Under the proposals, core pay for practices in rural areas or with large elderly populations could fall by up to 30 per cent (GP, 16 February).

GP leaders warned introducing the new formula would have a 'deleterious impact' on patients.

But three quarters of primary care organisations (PCOs) favoured the adjustments tabled by the FRG. Three quarters also wanted to implement the changes even if some practices lost income.

Seventy-five practices in England and Wales took part in the survey while 7 per cent of the 104 responses were from PCOs. Seven LMCs also took part along with the PCT Network and the RCGP.

Under the FRG's proposals, a formula based on age, sex and a deprivation index would replace the current system.

A measure of labour costs would be introduced, along with a new top-up factor, the 'cost of unavoidable smallness', to compensate for the lack of economies of scale in small, remote practices.

London weighting would be scrapped, along with weighting for care home patients.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: 'It is clear that a large minority of GPs do not want to proceed to implementing its findings.'

henry.ellis@haymarket.com.

FORMULA REACTION

  • 48 per cent of GPs reject changes to the global sum formula, 29 per cent favour them.
  • Changes could cut 30 per cent from core pay for some practices.
  • 75 per cent of PCOs back the changes.

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