Latest GP pay data reveal impact of MPIG cuts on practice funding

Less than a third of GP practices on the nationally-negotiated GMS contract now receive more than 5% of their core funding from MPIG top-ups, official data reveal.

The data confirm the pace and scale of changes to GP practice funding since the seven-year phasing out of the income guarantee mechanism began in 2014/15.

Data for 2013/14 show that 45% of GMS GP practices received more than 5% of their core funding in the form of MPIG 'correction factor' payments.

Around 150 GP practices received more than a quarter of their core pay from MPIG in 2013/14, and a quarter of all GMS practices received more than 10% of their core pay through the top-up mechanism.

GP funding

But 2015/16 data reveal that two years into the phasing-out process, just one in eight GMS GP practices receive more than 10% of core pay from MPIG. Only 23 practices in England now appear to receive more than a quarter of their core funding from MPIG, the data from NHS Digital reveal.

GPonline reported earlier this week that changes to GP funding over the past year appeared to have narrowed the gap in average GP practice funding per weighted patient between CCG areas. PMS reviews have also driven a huge drop in the gap between PMS and GMS funding per patient.

GP leaders said the speed and extent of changes to practice funding had had a 'massive impact' on many practices, forcing some to close and others to limit services.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said: 'For some practices that had significant income from MPIG, the change has had a massive impact on their ability to sustain the level of services they provide, and has been a factor in why they have closed or are planning to close.'

GP practice closures

He welcomed the overall movement towards fairer funding between practices, but warned that 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' was a dangerous approach.

'It is a good thing that the gap is narrowing,' he told GPonline. 'The long-term intention is to see that every practice has the same opportunities to have the funding they need. But you can't rob Peter to pay Paul.

'Some practices have benefitted from the rise in global sum from the removal of MPIG - practices that had been struggling without MPIG support and minimal global sum income - but this is not enough to address the chronic underfunding that all practices face. Overall, we have to see significant investment to address underfunding across general practice.'

Dr Vautrey said the GPC would need to ensure the government and NHS England honoured their committment to increase GP funding through plans set out in the GP Forward View.

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