GMS contracts prove to be the most efficient

GMS practices are more efficient than practices staffed by salaried GPs, research shows.

Data from practices across six PCTs showed that GMS practices perform as well or better in the quality framework than practices in other contract streams, despite receiving less funding per patient per year.

Researchers found that the more money per patient per year a GMS practice received, the better its quality score. The correlation was less clear for PCT-run or PMS practices.

Research published in the British Journal of General Practice this month looked at core pay for practices across six PCTs.

It found that GMS practices scored 943 quality points on average, and received £62.51 per patient per year.
PMS practices achieved similar quality scores and earned £87.38 per patient per year.

A selection of PCT-run practices (PCTMS) and PMS practices run by private firms earned far more core pay, but performed worse in the quality framework.

They received £105.37 per patient per year, but achieved 758 quality points on average.
Kent GP and co-author of the report Dr Hendrik Beerstecher said: ‘It’s obvious there is no  level playing field.’

He said it was unjustifiable for practices to receive more than others, although they produced the same level of quality.

‘According to quality scores, PMS practices are receiving more money, but the same quality comes out, so why are they paid more?’ he said.
BJGP 2006; 825–9

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