Scottish government sets out additional £4m practice funding plan

The additional £4m of funding promised to Scottish GPs will be paid into the global sum, reducing MPIG correction factor payments for dozens of practices, the Scottish government has confirmed.

Dr McDevitt: extra funding 'a step in the right direction' (Photo: Douglas Robertson)
Dr McDevitt: extra funding 'a step in the right direction' (Photo: Douglas Robertson)

In a letter sent out to LMCs, GPC Scotland chairman Dr Alan McDevitt said the extra investment represented a ‘step in the right direction’ – one he hoped the recently negotiated breakaway Scottish GP contract would continue to pursue in future.

Speaking at the Scottish LMC conference in March this year, Scotland’s health minister Alex Neil revealed that the government would be investing a further £4m into Scottish general practice.

This was planned as an additional investment to the 0.28% uplift recommended by the Doctors and Dentists Review Body (DDRB), bringing the total investment up to around £6m.

The Scottish government has now confirmed that the additional £4m funding will be paid into the global sum and recycled against the MPIG correction factor.

The process of factoring in the MPIG correction formula will reduce the size of all existing correction factors, meaning that 91 practices will no longer have one.

A larger contractual uplift for Scotland

Dr McDevitt maintained that this represented a positive step for Scottish GPs. He said: ‘I appreciate that practices with a correction factor that do not receive, or receive a reduced portion of, the additional uplift will be disappointed not to receive more.

‘However, this is additional funding that goes beyond the requirement of the DDRB recommendation, is in line with processes used in previous years to deliver contract uplifts, and reliance on correction factor.’

The DDRB recommended uplift of 0.28%, which equates to £1.8m for Scotland, will also be paid into the global sum. This, however, will not be subject to recycling against correction factor.

Dr McDevitt added: ’I believe it is important to recognise that the GP contract in Scotland is receiving a larger contractual uplift than recommended by the DDRB. While this will certainly not solve the considerable challenges facing general practice in Scotland, including unsustainable workload and recruitment and retention difficulties, it is a step in the right direction.

‘Given our recent negotiated agreement for the contract in 2014/15 and this additional uplift we are hopeful that our ongoing discussions and negotiations with the Scottish government will deliver a more stable and manageable contract for practices.’

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