NHS Contract - what the latest changes mean for you

Proposed changes to the 2013/14 GMS contract have now been published. Although there is a 12- week consultation period for the GPC and PCOs to respond, we believe that the proposals are unlikely to change significantly.

The changes proposed are as follows :-

  1. The Minimum Practice Income Guarantee (MPIG) is to be phased out over seven years. For many GP practices, this could result in a decrease to practice income. However, not all practices will be adversely affected, as some no longer receive any money from the MPIG. 

  2. PMS contracts are also to be phased out over a similar period. This could also result in a substantial decrease in income for some practices.

  3. Any overall increase in the value of GP contract funding will be decided following the recommendations of the Doctors and Dentists Pay Review Body in February but will be limited to no more than 1% as a consequence of the Government’s austerity programme. Any increase is likely to be in the form of an increase in the global sum with a clawback from the MPIG correction factor in order to contribute to the phasing out of MPIG, as referred to above.

  4. All NICE’s recommendations for new QOF indicators will be implemented in full and QOF thresholds will be increased. This will mean increases in workload to earn the same money as in earlier years.

  5. Organisational QOF points will cease, reducing the number of points available from 1,000 to 900. The money lost to practices removing these points (approximately £2.22 per patient) will be reinvested in new enhanced services covering : dementia; patients with a high risk of unplanned hospital admissions; patients with long-term conditions; rotavirus vaccinations; and shingles vaccinations. The detailed specifications for these new enhanced services have yet to be developed. Again, there will be additional work required to earn the same money as in earlier years.

  6. Responsibility for paying the employer’s superannuation of all locums will be transferred from PCO’s to practices, which will increase the cost of using a short-term locum by 12.6%. This will remove an anomaly that currently exists whereby the practice is responsible for meeting the cost of employer’s superannuation for partners, salaried GPs and long-term locums but not for short-term locums.

We will be addressing the effect of these changes at our Specialist Medical seminar on 6th March.

Alternatively, if you would like to discuss the impact on your practice finances of any of the above issues, please contact Andrew Goddard by telephone on 01704 215450 or by e-mail to andrew@forshaws.org.uk. 

Andrew Goddard ACA, Technical Partner