Small practices lose £1,000 access pay

Small practices in Wales have lost £1,000 each after the Welsh Assembly government insisted on banding payments for its new access enhanced service.

The practices signed up to a local enhanced service (LES) for £5,000 but will now only get £4,000 under the new national enhanced service for Wales agreed for 2007/8.

Practices with fewer than 3,500 patients are to be penalised. GPC Wales has protested but the Welsh Assembly is pushing the payments through regardless.

Dr John Thompson, Caernarvon GP and Wales representative of the Family Doctor Association, said: ‘This is unacceptable and discriminatory. In small practices our overheads are higher and pro rata we pay more.’

Now Welsh LMCs have asked their local health boards (LHBs) to make up the difference to the practices that have lost out. Neath Port Talbot is the only LHB that has so far agreed to make it up to small practices.

Head of primary care Debra Davies said seven practices will receive extra £1,000 payments.
A Vale of Glamorgan spokesman said it had not decided to make up the shortfall to the two ffected practices.

Under the banded access enhanced service, practices with more than 7,000 patients will receive £6,000.

GPC Wales negotiator Dr Ian Millington said there are surplus funds from enhanced services in 2006/7.

prisca.middlemiss@haymarket.com

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