Chairman of North Yorkshire County Council health scrutiny committee Councillor Jim Clark (Con) asked why similar arrangement to Wales’ 'practice support payment' could not be introduced in England.
In a letter to NHS England’s North Yorkshire and Humber area team, Mr Clark said two local practices identified as 'outliers' - those hardest hit by correction factor withdrawal - faced ‘serious cash flow problems’ from April.
‘In Wales, practices most affected will receive a "practice support payment" in perpetuity and remaining MPIG funding will be recycled into global sum payments over the seven-year period MPIG is phased out. I would welcome your views as to why similar arrangements could not be introduced in England.’
A contract deal struck between the Welsh government and GPC Wales last month will see total losses from MPIG withdrawal capped at 15% of global sum. It is estimated that £1.8m out of a total £14m in existing correction factor payments will continue to be paid to practices hit hard by MPIG losses as ‘practice support payments’.
Around 17% of practices in Wales are expected to receive these payments, and a further 50% will benefit from the redistribution of MPIG money through weighted capitation global sum payments.
In England local area teams have been told there will be no new funding to support practices hit by cuts, and even the 98 outliers identified, which will lose an average of around £7.50 per weighted patient per year, have no guarantee of support.
At the end of December NHS England issued advice to area teams on how to deal with outliers. The guidance suggested smaller practices could be merged, federated, made more efficient through cost cutting, or that other contracting and commissioning solutions could be found.
Mr Clark said access to general practices in his largely rural county was a ‘major concern’ for residents. He asked NHS England to consider what could be done to ensure appropriate commissioning arrangements were in place for GPs carrying out work outside their core GMS contract.