Letter: NHS Employers sets out future of MPIG

Dear Editor

I was disappointed to read your article 'GPC brand employers' MPIG letter inaccurate' (GP, 27 January).

My letter was based on wording taken from a draft letter of agreement between NHS Employers and the GPC of the BMA on amendments to the GMS contract. The final document will be published when negotiations on the outstanding issues, mainly the DESs in all four countries, have been completed.

A recent joint NHS Employers and GPC statement clarifies the situation.

An extract from this statement states: 'Agreement has been reached between BMA and NHS Employers on a resourced package of proposals to develop aspects of the new GMS contract.

'The majority of our discussions have concentrated on the settlement for 2006/7; however, during the course of these, we have discussed issues, which will be relevant in future years. What these will mean precisely in practice will be subject to future negotiation between the GPC and NHS Employers.'

In terms of the MPIG our document states: 'NHS Employers/GPC agreed that future uplifts to the global sum should seek to reduce the reliance upon correction factor (CF) payments and therefore release an element of the CF envelope.'

In terms of the contractor population index our document states: '... from 2007/8 onwards a resource neutral annual mechanism would be agreed, provided a method for recognising increased workload in the quality framework through higher registered populations can be agreed.'

In relation to future efficiency savings, our document states: 'All parties recognise the responsibility of the four departments of health and NHS Employers to achieve and demonstrate ongoing improvements in efficiency and value for money as part of a normal ongoing negotiations or commissioning process within the NHS.'

It states that: 'NHS Employers/GPC agreed all future negotiations would include consideration of efficiency consistent with all other commissioning arrangements across the NHS.'

Further discussions will take place on all these issues as part of the 2007/8 contract negotiations.

Dr Barbara Hakin, chair of NHS Employers' negotiating team.

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