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    Monday, 18 June 2018 17:31
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    Thursday, 14 June 2018 14:27
  • Generics concessionary price hikes cost CCGs additional £86.3 million in 2017-18, finds NAO

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    Friday, 08 June 2018 08:36
  • £10m fund announced to help improve GP retention

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moneys2May 18 2016

There is a “clear link” between GP practices receiving a higher level of funding per patient and ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ Care Quality Commission ratings.

BMA analysis of CQC practice inspection reports and per patient funding for the 2,814 GP practices inspected in 2015 found, on average, that GP practices receiving:

  • an ‘outstanding’ rating from the CQC were allocated £152 per patient in funding
  • a ‘good’ rating were allocated £140 per patient
  • a ‘needs improvement’ rating were allocated £111 per patient
  • an ‘inadequate’ rating were allocated £128 per patient.

“The average level of funding for GP practices across England is £141 per patient, placing it below the level of resources received by most GP practices who were given an ‘outstanding’ rating,” said the BMA. It conducted the analysis as part of its ‘Urgent prescription for general practice’ campaign, and following resolutions passed at the Special Conference of Local Medical Committees in January.

In terms of minimum per patient funding, the lowest an ‘outstanding’ practice received was £96.58, while the lowest for an ‘inadequate’ practice was £74.69. At the other end of the scale, the maximum per patient funding for an ‘outstanding’ practice was £365.59, whereas the maximum for an inadequate practice was £198.36.

It noted: “Overall, whilst we cannot say with certainty that higher funding leads to improved performance (as rated by CQC), there appears to be a pattern whereby those practices with higher funding achieve better CQC ratings; ultimately practices that do not have adequate resources are penalised by low ratings.”

The BMA has called on NHS England to ensure that GP practices receive an uplift in funding that results in every practice in England getting the same high level of support. “We believe that the minimum funding (per weighted patient) for all practices should be at least the same as the amount for the average practice rated outstanding, if not significantly higher in order to deliver the sustainability called for by the LMC Conference and wider profession,” it said.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA GP committee chair, commented: “This analysis shows there is a clear link between the amount of funding a GP practice receives and the rating they are allocated by the CQC.

“Despite this, the CQC takes no account of resources available to a GP practice when they grade their care, even if this leads to GPs and their staff being publically shamed with an ‘inadequate’ or ‘needs improvement’ rating. This is wholly unfair given the obvious impact that funding has on the ability of GPs and staff to run their practices, and which will impact on the CQC’s own rating system. The research also demonstrates the wide disparity between funding for practices which is completely unacceptable.”

Dr Nagpaul also called for an end to the current CQC assessment system, saying it should be replaced by “a proportionate and fair alternative”. He noted that a recent BMA survey had found that “the vast majority of GP practices had lost faith in [the CQCs] flawed inspection regime. “GP practices must not be unfairly judged when they are not being given the tools they need to effectively run their practices to provide care to the public,” he said.

Links:

BMA announcement

BMA analysis

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