LMCs conference 2014: GPs demand support for practices hit by MPIG and PMS cuts

GPs have voted to criticise the inadequate support for practices facing the 'devastating' impact of MPIG and PMS growth money loss.

Dr Dominique Thompson: call to support PMS and MPIG losers (Photo: Pete Hill)
Dr Dominique Thompson: call to support PMS and MPIG losers (Photo: Pete Hill)

LMC representatives meeting for their annual conference in York passed a motion deploring that the imposed funding changes would damage delivery of patient services.

GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the vote ‘just goes to show how seriously the government has misjudged the potential impact of funding changes on GPs'.

He added: 'Cuts in funding may leave some practices with tough decisions about whether they have to make staff redundant or cut back on vital services to patients.’

Practices will become unviable

Dr Dominique Thompson from Avon said the most highly funded PMS practices were in the most deprived areas ‘therefore without these funds those practices will lose staff, including doctors, and will become unviable’.

Practices facing MPIG losses, she said, were a wide mix of rural, inner city and university practices.

She said despite NHS England asking area teams to support practices, ‘this has rarely been the case so far’.

When health minister Dr Dan Poulter told MPs practices should be ‘looking to help themselves’, said Dr Thompson, ‘that is definitely a euphemism for "you are on your own, mate".'

Practices all equally valid

While practices were all different, she said, all practices were equally valid and all played a vital role in their communities.

Dr Catherine Stevens from Islington said there were practices in London that would be closing in September because they know they will not be viable.

Deputy GPC chairman Dr Richard Vautrey appealed for caution over calls for specific funding for practices with vulnerable and rural populations, which could be ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’.

LMCs voted to reject specific funding for rural practice, which Dr Julian Spinks from Kent said would create an ‘underclass of urban GPs’.

Later LMCs passed a motion calling imminent PMS reviews ‘unnecessary’ and requiring GPC to support fairness and to ensure money is not lost to general practice.

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