Global sum rises to reach 8%

Six-figure winners and losers as new deal lifts 20 per cent off MPIG. By Jonn Elledge and Prisca Middlemiss.

Non-MPIG practices will receive global sum increases of up to 8 per cent if the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body agrees a 2 per cent pay rise for 2009/10, the BMA has said.

This would mean an extra £24,000 for a practice with an average global sum of around £300,000.

But Jon Ford, head of the BMA’s health policy unit, warned that changes to the prevalence formula will mean that dozens of practices will require external support to survive.

‘We’ve looked at around 40 practices where the PCT would have to step in,’ Mr Ford told GP.

The terms for the 2009/10 contract, agreed last week, will use an iterative process to recycle funding from practices with high correction factors to those practices that have lower ones.

The deal reached between the GPC and the government means that, assuming a 2 per cent global funding uplift, all practices will receive a funding rise of at least 0.61 per cent.

But the recycling process means the uplift would translate to an 8 per cent rise for the 7 or 8 per cent of practices in the UK not reliant on MPIG. It will also cut the proportion reliant on MPIG to about 70 per cent.

Some practices could lose or gain six-figure sums from changes to the formula used to distribute quality framework funding, according to GPC Wales chairman Dr David Bailey. The BMA expects as many as 70 will lose more than £50,000.

Speaking at last week’s NHS Alliance conference, health secretary Alan Johnson said that the changes would redirect funding towards areas of high health inequalities. He cited Manchester, which currently has half as many doctors per head as affluent Cambridgeshire, despite having greater health needs.

Mr Johnson also welcomed moves towards the abolition of the ‘pernicious’ MPIG. ‘If we carried on with this kind of deal, which I think is likely, there will be 25 per cent of practices left on MPIG within five years,’ he said.  ‘And those ones really need it.’

The DoH had considered imposing a deal that removed MPIG from all but a ‘hard core’ of 9 per cent of practices, Mr Johnson admitted. But he said the 2009/10 contract was a big step forward. ‘It will be difficult for next year’s negotiators to suddenly go backwards on MPIG,’ he said.

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