GP funding may be pooled with wider NHS budgets under new care models

General practice funding could be merged with other providers' budgets under new care model plans in 'vanguard' areas to be discussed by NHS England.

GP funding: budgets could be pooled under new models of care
GP funding: budgets could be pooled under new models of care

A paper released ahead of NHS England’s board meeting on Thursday outlined a package of support to be offered to new care model vanguards, including GP-centred multispecialty community providers (MCPs) and vertically integrated primary and acute systems (PACS).

Key elements of support, the paper said, will include ‘budgetary flexibility for merging separate provider funding streams into a single MCP or PACS pot’. Support for developing new capitated payments structures will also be on offer, and new bundled standard contracts will be developed.

The paper also suggested that QOF could be combined with other quality payments such as CQUIN and new performance schemes developed.

GP practice funding

GP leaders have said merging practice core funding with hospital or social care budgets would be a ‘red line’ that must not be crossed and LMC leaders last week insisted pooling must not happen.

The vanguards, launched in March, will develop the new models of care proposed by the NHS England’s Five Year Forward View. The projects will receive a funding from a £200m transformation fund announced by the government last year.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey told GPonline in April that core GP funding should not be merged with other services. ‘This would be a red line. Pooling budgets is usually an excuse to take resource out of general practice,' he said.

The 2015 LMCs conference passed a motion insisting that new models of care should not pool core GP funding.

However some local GP leaders involved with new care models have admitted the vanguards could lead to pooled funding.

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