DH confirms MPIG practices to receive 1.32% rise in full

All GMS practices in England will receive the 1.32% contract uplift for 2013/14 in full whether or not they rely on MPIG top ups to core pay, the DH has confirmed.

DH: uplift will benefit all GMS practices equally
DH: uplift will benefit all GMS practices equally

Around 65% of GMS practices rely on MPIG 'correction factor' payments to top up core funding. In previous years, contract uplifts have been applied via a mechanism intended to cut reliance on MPIG, leading to huge variation in the actual increases different practices receive.

In 2009/10, practices that did not rely on MPIG received core funding increases of up to 12.5% from an award worth just 2.29%, while MPIG practices received a far lower amount.

No practices will be lifted off MPIG in 2013/14 as a result of the 1.32% uplift. Extra funding pledged for covering paying employers' superannuation contributions for locums also will be equally distributed across all practices, officials have said.

The contract settlement announced for 2013/14 confirmed that from 2014 MPIG will be phased out, with one seventh of practices' correction factor payments top sliced and reinvested among all GMS practices on a capitation basis.

DH officials estimate that around 100 practices in England serving unusual populations, such as care homes, the homeless or private schools, could need additional support to survive after MPIG is phased out.

These practices could be handed extra financial support through enhanced services at the discretion of the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB), the DH has said. DH officials confirmed that no other support is currently planned for practices hit hard by the removal of MPIG.

The GPC has also called for support for rural practices that receive large correction factors.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘It is about looking at targeting support for relatively small practices. It would need to be funding that was defined that was agreed nationally and agreed locally. We will be discussing that with the NHSCB.

‘It could be a special grant. The key thing is having a will from the board to ensure a solution is found.’

A spokesman for the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) said: ‘Changes to funding, which will take place from April 2014 onwards, are designed to make the system more fair and equitable for all GPs.

‘The NHSCB will need to look at practices which serve more unusual populations and which will be affected by the phasing-out of MPIG.

‘The board may in future need to commission services differently for these practices, for instance services for care homes or for homeless populations, rather than seek to pay for these services through the general funding formula.’

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