Midlands GPs seek to ditch GMS contract for fairer deal.

Local funding plan to end historic inequities, by Tom Ireland

LMC leaders and managers at a Midlands PCT are discussing plans to move 96 GMS practices onto a PMS-style deal to cut historic funding inequities.

The plans were hatched before details of revisions to the GMS contract were announced last month, which will begin the phasing out of the MPIG. But GPs involved say that national contract changes would not resolve gaps in funding locally.

GMS funding in the area is not favourable for either the PCT or practices, Derbyshire County PCT medical director Dr Alan Meakin told GP.

Derbyshire LMC secretary Dr John Grenville said the decision to look at an alternative to the mainstream contract was borne out of fears that the DoH would scrap MPIG support and concern over funding gaps between PMS and GMS practices.

The GMS deal announced last month makes it clear MPIG is to be phased out, not cut, but the funding gap remains a concern.

Dr Meakin said: 'It's about seeing how you can commission a package of primary care in a different way.

'This is in the very earliest stages of discussion. It's a return to the original PMS concept - we will commission a service from you for X amount of money.'

The deal would be piloted first and it is not yet clear whether it would most resemble a GMS, PMS or APMS contract. It would aim to cut bureaucracy by incorporating all local and directed enhanced services within the core contract for a fixed price.

Although financial details of the deal have yet to be ironed out, both the LMC and PCT hope to design a fairer funding system.

'We would price the contract in terms favourable to both parties. In return for a service we require, practices will receive a reasonable amount,' said Dr Meakin.

Dr Grenville added: 'We need to do something about equity - PMS got growth funding and GMS didn't.

'The county PCT is looking at trying to make the contract slightly easier to administer and to understand.'

The deal should make it easier for lower-paid practices to offer enhanced services, he said.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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