Exclusive: Two-year MPIG reprieve for small number of GP practices

MPIG funding will be restored for two years for a small number of practices in deprived areas, GP magazine can reveal.

Funding: MPIG removal stay of execution (Photo: JH Lancy)
Funding: MPIG removal stay of execution (Photo: JH Lancy)

In a statement on Tuesday, NHS England's London region confirmed that a small number of practices would receive ‘additional financial support for two years (2014/15 and 2015/16), equivalent to our calculation of the funding they would have received prior to the recent GMS funding changes’.

Practices that will benefit from the stay of execution over MPIG funding have been informed, and funding will be returned to them by autumn, NHS England's London region confirmed.

NHS England's national office confirmed that the scheme was 'initially for London', but that 'other area teams would be making the same offer where practices meet the criteria'.

Read more: GPC reaction

Practices that receive the extra funding will be among the 98 identified as ‘outliers’ that will lose £3 per patient per year or more as MPIG is withdrawn.

Not all of these practices will have their MPIG funding restored, however. Those that will benefit in London were identified according to 'a number of factors, including special circumstances which mean local demographics dictate workload that may not be adequately reflected in the Carr-Hill formula', NHS England London said.

NHS England’s London region has refused to disclose which practices, or even how many, will benefit from the two-year MPIG reprieve.

The Jubilee Street practice at the heart of the east London Save our Surgeries campaign, which expected to lose close to £1m over the seven-year programme of MPIG withdrawal, has confirmed it is among the practices that will benefit from the MPIG reprieve.

The MPIG funding rethink has been agreed 'pending the outcome' of the review of the national Carr-Hill funding formula, an NHS England London region spokeswoman confirmed.

Funding formula review

'We have identified a small number of practices across London that are most affected by GMS funding changes, serve the most deprived populations, and meet other nationally defined criteria. These practices will receive additional financial support for two years,' she said.

Although the support for hard-hit practices will help a handful in London, accountants have estimated that a fifth of GMS practices will be severely affected by MPIG cuts.

An NHS England London spokeswoman said: ‘General practice is the bedrock of the NHS and has served patients well since its foundation, but we understand the pressures it faces in a growing and changing capital.

‘We have today committed to providing extra financial support in 2014/15 and 2015/16 to a small number of GP practices in London that serve patients in more deprived areas and which are significantly affected by recent changes to the GP funding system. 

‘At the same time, we are working with leading GPs on a major programme to transform primary care services to better meet the needs of 21st century London.’

A support package for some practices has been expected for some time. NHS England officials told hard-hit practices including Jubilee Street that an announcement was imminent around 10 days ago.

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