DoH accused of hiding extent of cash losses due to formula change

The extent of funding losses resulting from changes to the prevalence formula are being hidden by the DoH to prevent a backlash among GPs, according to Londonwide LMCs chief executive Dr Michelle Drage.

Dr Michelle Drage (Photograph: Haymarket Medical/Emilie Sandy)

The changes to the prevalence formula could provoke a reaction similar to ‘Black Wednesday' in 2003, which led to the formulation of MPIG, said Dr Drage.

Dr Drage was concerned that figures showing the number of losers and the extent of their losses across the UK was known by the DoH but not the GPC.

‘I think that the GPC will know there are going to be winners and losers but I think it has struggled to get the information itself. I fear that it has been perhaps manipulated into a position where it was not able to get the information that was needed.'

Dr Drage said a standardised local enhanced service (LES) payment was needed to help practices across London but was not optimistic that PCTs would comply.

‘The solution proposed by the GPC is to negotiate with willing PCTs - apparently we will all have these PCTs willing to negotiate solutions, rather than stash the money they've suddenly gained away.'

GPC chairman Dr Richard Vautrey assured practices last week that ‘no practices would go under' because of the changes to the formula.

In 2009/10 the controversial ‘square rooting' mechanism will be scrapped. The following year pay will be weighted according to raw prevalence.

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