Practice at heart of Save our Surgeries campaign wins MPIG concession

The Jubilee Street practice at the heart of the east London Save our Surgeries campaign is among those set to benefit from a two-year reprieve on removal of MPIG funding, its practice manager has confirmed.

Save our Surgeries: Protesters outside Downing Street (Photo: Alex Deverill)
Save our Surgeries: Protesters outside Downing Street (Photo: Alex Deverill)

GP magazine revealed on Tuesday that NHS England's London region has told a small number of practices hit hard by MPIG removal that their funding will now be restored for 2014/15 and 2015/16.

NHS officials have not disclosed how many practices will benefit from the two-year U-turn on MPIG removal, but GP can now reveal that the Jubilee Street practice, in east London's Tower Hamlets, will be among them.

The practice has been at the forefront of a campaign to protect practices hit hard by removal of the funding top-up, presenting a 20,000-name petition at Downing Street last month.

Downing Street protest

A patient at Jubilee Street recently launched legal action in a bid to reverse cuts to its funding.

Jubilee Street practice manager Virginia Patania told GP that NHS England London's MPIG plan 'does apply to us, subject to our accounts being approved as part of the qualifying criteria'.

'We appreciate NHS England’s efforts to re-align GP funding of deprived practices to their income prior to the new contractual changes,' she said.

But Ms Patania added: 'NHS England worryingly refers to the Carr-Hill formula as taking into account deprivation – it does not, and this impression is concerning. We are however confident in the commitment expressed to revising the formula, and would welcome the opportunity to input into this exercise.'

She said the practice was concerned that it had not been told precisely how much funding would be returned to it. NHS England has said practices will receive 'the total annual loss as determined by NHS England arising from GMS global sum changes for 2014/15 and 2015/16'.

Further detail required

Ms Patania said: 'We look forward to the details of the offer, but are truthfully concerned that what NHS England determines to be our annual loss will not be what we calculate this to be, and would like reassurance that our rationale and mathematics, as accepted and supported by NHS England and the DH just a few months ago, are what will be used to calculate the baseline loss.

'The loss we incur will take place over the next seven years. This package will cover only the first two of these. With the losses getting worse year on year, we must have reassurance around the ongoing commitment to buffer these losses, as the funding support seems to expire once the losses become steeper. To be clear, the cessation of funding support would be like placing us back exactly where we are now, with the MPIG losses three times worse - since the removal of the funding is phased over seven years - or a loss of £10.43 per patient.

'There must be provisions in place to avoid this happening. If this were to happen, we would be unlikely to be able to offer even so much as a six-month notice period. We are hopeful NHSE will offer clear and proactive responses to these concerns, and would welcome an open forum to discuss the detail of the offer.'

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