GPC Northern Ireland wins concessions in 2013/14 GMS contract deal

GPs in Northern Ireland will receive a 1.5% income increase after last-minute agreement was reached with ministers on a new GMS contract deal.

GPC Northern Ireland chairman Dr Tom Black: 'We feel the whole package is now do-able.'
GPC Northern Ireland chairman Dr Tom Black: 'We feel the whole package is now do-able.'

GP leaders said the compromise meant ministers had removed the worst parts of their proposals leaving a workable contract.

Agreement was reached between Northern Ireland GPC and Northern Ireland's Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) ahead of the 1 April implementation date.

Other details of the new GMS contract include:

  • No removal of MPIG
  • Extra £3.5m funding for QOF
  • 13 indicator threshold increases
  • 83 organisation points scrapped and funding directed to global sum equivalent

DHSSPS’s original changes included axing MPIG top-ups to core funding and 23 indicator threshold changes.

GPs threatened to boycott wider ‘Transforming Your Care’ health reforms last month in protest at the government’s proposed GMS changes. GPC Northern Ireland chairman Dr Tom Black said the proposals were the harshest in the UK.

Dr Black told GP today that the agreement was a compromise that removed those indicators GPs felt were ‘impractical or impossible’ and those they felt would harm patients.

‘Most importantly we feel the whole package is now do-able and funded and because of this GPs can now engage fully with Transforming Your Care’, he added.

Health minister Edwin Poots said: ‘I am delighted to announce that an agreed settlement has been reached. It is a key landmark as we step up the delivery of the vital Transforming Your Care reforms.’

‘I am on record as saying that the provision of safe, sustainable and resilient health services to meet the needs of the population of Northern Ireland is a key priority for me, and this is the principle on which Transforming Your Care is based.

'The implementation of TYC will see an increased focus away from treating patients in hospital when appropriate, with more services delivered in the community. GPs are absolutely vital in helping to achieve this and this is why it was important that we reached agreement on the changes for next year. I want to thank our GPs for their commitment in reaching this agreement.’

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