Funding for GP practices varies from around £60 to more than £100 per patient within individual counties.
LMCs in Derbyshire and Liverpool have agreed deals involving most practices in their areas to top up funding for poorly-resourced GPs.
GPs in other parts of the UK with high variations have called for similar support.
Derbyshire LMC has negotiated a deal with the county’s two PCTs ‘to try to equal things out in terms of workload and funding’ its chairman Dr John Grenville said.
From October a ‘fairer funding’ deal aims to deliver practices funding worth £78 per patient on their weighted list.
GMS practices will receive their current core pay – global sum or global sum plus correction factor – plus a top up to bring them to the £78 total.
However, if their existing core pay is above this level, they will be asked to hand back the difference to the PCT.
PMS practices will receive the same level of funding, and all practices will be expected to provide a common ‘basket of services’.
Dr Grenville said the deal would protect GPs. ‘We would have seen the PCT reducing the total amount of funding for primary care, on a year on year basis,’ he said.
Liverpool LMC negotiated a similar deal last year, which took effect in April. Practices will receive an average of £90 per weighted patient.
Dr Brett La Hay, a GP in Dundee, said this sort of deal should be ‘happening everywhere’. Some practices in his area receive up to £86.16 per patient, but his receives just £65.84.
‘Why is one practice running the same service for £140,000 more than us?’ he asked.
Dr Barnett blamed locally negotiated PMS contracts for deepening gaps in funding.