GP funding stationary despite extra workload

Workload passed from hospitals to primary care is not being adequately resourced, the GPC has said, after official figures showed overall investment in UK general practice remained flat in 2012/13.

The latest figures on general practice investment for 2012/13, published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, showed funding in England rose by just 0.74% compared with 2011/12.

Similar marginal rises were seen in Wales and Scotland, but Northern Ireland saw a fall of 1.48%.

Total spending on GP practices across the UK was £9.96bn in 2012/13, compared to £9.89bn in 2011/12, an increase of 0.68%. QOF funding rose 4.4% in England in 2012/13.

A total of £751m was invested in enhanced services in 2012/13. Spending on LESs has fallen 18% since 2008/9, from £323m to £264m in 2012/13.

Spending on GP out-of-hours service rose by 4.7% over the five year period to £396m.

Nevertheless, a fall in funding for the extended access DES in England since 2010/11, from £75.6m to £20.7m, could add fuel the row over pressures on urgent and emergency care services, which the government has blamed on GP access.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘The underlying message is that workload has moved from hospitals into the community and resource has not followed it. Data showing that the NHS has not invested in enhanced services is evidence of that.

'Figures produced recently suggest that the proportion of NHS funding going to primary care is in decline and increasing in hospitals - this is exactly the opposite of what should be happening.'

Summary of figures


Overall spend:

  • In England, the total spent on general practice was £8,459.3m, compared to £8,397.0m spent in 2011/12 (0.74% increase).
  • In Wales, total spend was £469.1m, compared to £465.5m spent in 2011/12 (0.77% increase).
  • In Northern Ireland, total spend was £232.7m, compared to £236.2m spent in 2011/12 (1.48% decrease).
  • In Scotland, total spend was £796.2m, compared to £791.3m spent in 2011/12 (0.62% increase).

Global sum/MPIG:

  • Funding in England between 2008/9 and 2012/13 rose 5.4% from £1,863.9m to £1,964.2m, although the figures do not account for inflation.
  • In Wales, funding rose 4.2% from £204m to £212m over five years.
  • In Scotland, funding rose 5.8% over five years to £383m in 2012/13.
  • In Northern Ireland, funding fell by 5.5% from £114m to £108m over five years, and fell by 5.5% since 2011/12.

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