RCGP demands MPIG bailout and guarantee that no practices will close

The RCGP has demanded an immediate emergency bailout for practices hit hardest by the removal of MPIG.

Professor Nigel Mathers: practices face closure (photo: Pete Hill)
Professor Nigel Mathers: practices face closure (photo: Pete Hill)

The college is also demanding a guarantee from the government that ‘no practice will be shut down or a single patient lose out as a result of the phasing out of MPIG’.

GP reported earlier this year that the 98 practices identified by NHS England as the worst affected by MPIG removal will lose around £160,000 per weighted patient per year over the seven-year removal of MPIG.

One London practice calculated that it faces losses of around £900,000 over the seven-year period and would be forced to close.

MPs have campaigned for support for practices, along with the BMA and LMCs.

GPs face catastrophic losses

Many practices outside the worst-hit 98 also face catastrophic losses, and 40% of GMS practices overall stand to lose out as MPIG is redistributed.

The RCGP has now called for an ‘emergency stability fund’ to avoid practices being forced to close ‘within months’.

At-risk outliers serve a patient population of around 700,000, whose care could be put at risk, it warned.

Cuts these practices face are compounding the impact of wider reductions in NHS funding, the college warned.

It has called for primary care funding to rise to 11% of the total NHS budget. A projection from accountants Deloitte has suggested that at present primary care is set to fall to its lowest ever share of NHS funding – 7.29% – within  three years.

RCGP honorary secretary Professor Nigel Mathers said: ‘The fact that up to 100 practices are facing imminent closure at a time when general practice across the UK is in crisis is catastrophic.

Severe underinvestment warning

‘The severe underinvestment in GP services means that many practices have been relying on MPIG funding just to keep going.’

An NHS England statement warned that MPIG was a transitionary arrangement that was 'not an equitable way of providing funding to practices'.

Its head of primary care commissioning Dr David Geddes said: 'Redistributing this funding will mean the majority of GP practices will gain extra funding. Everyone should have access to high quality GP services in their area, that is why we have asked our area teams to work with practices that will be adversely affected to see how they can be supported – this is different for each practice and this work continues.'

Free GMS financial forecast 2014/21

GPonline.com's sister website Medeconomics has teamed up with specialist medical accountants Ramsay Brown & Partners to provide all subscribers with a forecast of their practice's financial performance as the MPIG is phased out over the next seven years.

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