Exclusive: Carr-Hill formula to weight GP pay for deprivation from 2016/17

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens is understood to have made a commitment to revise GP funding to account for deprivation in time for the 2016/17 contract.

Dr Kambiz Boomla: research with fellow east London GP Dr Sally Hull helped drive changes (Photo: JH Lancy)

Mr Stevens told a meeting with Tower Hamlets CCG and GPs on Wednesday that general practice funding would be revised to take account of deprivation and would take into account research by east London GPs reported this week by GP magazine.

The NHS chief said research by Tower Hamlets GP academics Dr Kambiz Boomla and Dr Sally Hull, which demonstrates the links between deprivation, workload and funding, would feed into a review carried out by the advisory committee on resource allocation.

Jubilee Street Practice manager and CCG board member Virginia Patania - a leading campaigner over MPIG cuts and funding for deprived practices - said: ‘They are going to revise the GP funding formula to take account of deprivation and taking into consideration the evidence produced by Tower Hamlets around workload and deprivation.'

GP funding commitment

There was, she said, a ‘clear and articulated commitment to a complete revision of the GP funding formula for 1 March 2016’.

Dr Boomla welcomed the ‘good news’ that his research would be taken on board, but warned that work to recognise deprivation may not lead to a revised Carr-Hill global sum formula, and instead could mean a more comprehensive funding reform with integrated NHS contracts which recognise local deprivation and other factors.

Dr Boomla said his understanding from the meeting was that Mr Stevens wanted to ‘produce something much more far reaching’ than a change to Carr-Hill, taking deprivation into account in a formula to fund development of the new integrated care models outlined in NHS England's Five Year Forward View plans for the health service.

‘Is the push towards integrated care in the new models going to mean that they are going to want to rip up the GMS, PMS and APMS contracts and replace it with an overarching global contract, with a funding formula for a particular area?' he asked.

‘I think there is quite a lot of negotiation that will have to go on between the GPC and  NHS England about what the new formula will be.'

An NHS England spokeswoman said: 'Simon Stevens visited GPs in Tower Hamlets to hear about the work of the CCG, its proposals for primary care co-commissioning, and work to improve funding for primary care. He asked staff from the NHS London team to have follow up discussions with them.'

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