A leading medical accountant said he believed it would be withdrawn because most PMS growth money was failing to deliver additional services. Growth money was paid to practices to incentivise them to move away from the national GMS contract, but was meant to be in return for extra work.
Recent profit figures published by medical accountants Ramsay Brown and Partners show that PMS practice profits continue to be higher than GMS (GP, 7 July).
Laurence Slavin, a partner with medical accountants Ramsay Brown and Partners, said most of the funding was not delivering extra work. He said the DoH saw growth funding as distorting the value for money offered by practices. A review of PMS funding arrangements promised in the primary care White Paper is due to be published in 2007.
PCTs have been ordered by the DoH to ensure that any PMS contracts deliver equivalent value for money to GMS contracts.
More than 40 per cent of GP practices in England operate under PMS contracts, which are locally negotiated.
Dr Mo Dewji, the clinical director for primary care contracting at the National Primary Care Development Team (NPDT), said PMS was permanent.
'PCTs should get value for money, but the vast majority of PMS practices were probably higher earners under GMS. Growth funding is not the only factor that makes them higher earners,' he said.
National Association of Primary Care chairman Dr James Kingsland, said the alternative contract was protected in statute and could not be withdrawn unless parliament chose to rescind it.