GPC fears MPIG delays as NHS England proposes local approach

GP leaders have called for a swift, national solution to support practices hit hardest by MPIG changes after NHS England revealed plans to let its area teams handle problems locally.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul: fears delayed MPIG solution
Dr Chaand Nagpaul: fears delayed MPIG solution

The plans would see practices hit hardest by plans to withdraw MPIG top ups to core funding over seven years from April 2014, commissioned to provide enhanced services based on specific local population needs beyond those covered by core funding.

But GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul expressed concern that handing responsibility to ‘overstretched’ area teams could result in ‘protracted local discussions’.

The solution must be ‘directed and managed’ centrally, he said, even if funding is locally deployed.

Under imposed changes in the 2013/14 GP contract, MPIG top-ups to core pay will be redistributed over seven years from 2014. About 65% of practices in England benefit from MPIG.

GP reported last week that NHS England had begun work identifying outliers and has told practices there could be a proposal on the table by Christmas.

Dr Nagpaul said there was little detail or clarity in the proposals from NHS England.

‘We need to make sure there is a national approach to make sure this matter is dealt with swiftly and not left to local dialogue that may get drawn out right up to April,' he said. ‘We need something swiftly, and a national framework to make sure that happens.’

‘Area teams are overstretched and are not dealing with normal business in a timely manner, and this will now become an additional task for them,' he said. ‘This is not something we can afford to delay on. We are dealing with practices that are going to be suffering significant loses in resources that will impact on patient services and it is not right that a few months before April they have no detail.’

An NHS England spokeswoman said: 'We will be publishing guidance on this shortly and we won’t comment on the content in the meantime.'

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