Pay award halved for most GMS GPs

The majority of GMS GPs are likely to see only half of this year's 0.8% pay award unless the GPC can negotiate an alternative deal with ministers.

Dr McCarron-Nash: negotiations with NHS Employers continue
Dr McCarron-Nash: negotiations with NHS Employers continue

SHAs are preparing to implement a formula that would see half the rise applied to global sum, QOF, and other parts of the GMS contract, with the rest used to eat away at correction factors and reduce practices' reliance on MPIG.

It would mean only GMS practices without MPIG will receive the full 0.8% rise. The remaining 68% of practices would see up to half of their pay award disappear through reductions in correction factor payments.

The Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body's (DDRB) recommended pay award for 2010/11 had already been cut almost in half by ministers, from 1.34% to 0.8%. This left practices having to cut expenses by 1% to maintain income.

In a letter to SHA directors, DoH director of primary care Ben Dyson said if no agreement is reached the DDRB's recommended formula should be used to distribute the cash.

GPC negotiator Dr Beth McCarron-Nash said the DDRB's formula would work ‘technically' but negotiations with NHS Employers are continuing in the hope of distributing the ‘minuscule' amount differently.

Dr McCarron-Nash said the GPC is still ‘dismayed' at the government's decision to reduce the DDRB's recommended pay award.

‘If the government is going to interfere what's the point? Like most GPs, we're fed up with this lack of foresight - the government has a chance to invest and improve in general practice for the future and has missed it.'

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said only a ‘tiny, tiny amount' of UK practices would come off MPIG as a result of ministers reducing the DDRB's recommended uplift to 0.8 per cent. 

‘This solution will end few practices' reliance on correction factor payments but further reduce the new funding available to practices that continue to receive these payments,' he said in his annual GPC report. 

Talks between the GPC and NHS Employers broke down earlier this year when the GPC insisted that all practices receive a flat increase to cover expenses before money is distributed to practices differentially.

The DoH wants to remove correction factor funding first to reduce practices' reliance on MPIG.

In his letter, Mr Dyson says PCTs will be better placed to make decisions on PMS and APMS funding once a conclusion has been reached on distributing the GMS award.

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