GP contract 2014/15: Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland talks progress

GP leaders in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will resume talks with devolved governments over GMS reforms after negotiations over changes in England concluded.

Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales: contract talks ongoing
Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales: contract talks ongoing

NHS Employers revealed earlier this year that it would negotiate changes in England alone for 2014/15, formally ending the UK-wide GMS negotiation process.

NHS England also represented the Welsh government over QOF changes, but Scotland and Northern Ireland will hold entirely separate contract talks.

GPC Scotland and the Scottish government have agreed to ‘pursue minimal changes’ to the GP contract in 2014/15, but could yet adopt reforms planned in England.

The two parties have agreed that any English reforms they see as mutually beneficial could yet be adopted.

The English deal reversed many of the damaging changes to QOF imposed last year, but Scotland avoided many of these issues in 2013/14 and had already diverted part of its QOF funding into core pay, a move now adopted in England.

Talks on a ‘more Scottish contract’ are at an early stage.

In Northern Ireland, GP leaders are seeking a reduction in QOF, potentially similar to the reforms agreed in England.

Reforms to increase the role of GP federations, commissioning and a move to more equitable GP funding are also under discussion.

GPC Wales hopes to announce a contract deal before Christmas this year, and could also agree a reduced QOF with funding moving into core pay as in England.

Although the phasing out of MPIG in England is expected to begin in 2014/15, Wales along with Scotland agreed to keep the top-up funding.

Welsh GP leaders are working with the government to model the impact any decision to remove MPIG could have on practices.

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