Help moves closer for practices hit by MPIG loss

A remedy for practices hit hardest by MPIG cuts could be announced within weeks, GPs have been told.

Dr Nagpaul: utmost urgency

NHS England has begun work to identify outlying practices which face significant cuts from April and will begin talks with the GPC shortly on 'special measures' required.

Rural practices lobbying ministers and health bosses for a fix to prevent practices being forced to shut down or lay off staff have been told decisions could be made within weeks.

David Massey, managing partner at Slaidburn Country Practice in Lancashire, said after a meeting with NHS England national director for commissioning development Rosamund Roughton that possible solutions included federating or merging practices, handing responsibility to CCGs, or a national funding arrangement.

'The suggestion we felt would be discussed was that there would be a stand-alone solution involving some sort of funding,' said Mr Massey.

A GP in North Yorkshire involved in the lobbying campaign said he had been given similar information by a senior NHS England official.

GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said he had no firm details from NHS England, but clarity on MPIG was 'a matter of utmost urgency'.

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.

A spokesman said NHS England 'will make decisions shortly on any special measures' to support GPs and would meet with the GPC 'shortly'.

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