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    Tuesday, 10 July 2018 09:39
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moneySeptember 23 2015

NHS payments to general practices rose in England in the year 2014-15 with £7,990.3 million being paid across 7,959 general practices. This compares to £7,631.7 million paid to 8,060 providers the previous year.

As a consequence, the average sum of NHS payments to the providers was £1,003,936 in 2014-15 and the median sum was £881,146. “This compares to an average sum of £946,859 and a median sum of £827,431 paid to the 8,060 providers in 2013-14,” says the Health and Social Care Information Centre which has published the data.

Of the 2014-15 payments, HSCIC says:

  • £4,186.9 million was paid to 4,480 providers with a GMS contract, compared to £3,943.0 million paid to 4,481 providers in 2013-14
  • £3,590.6 million was to 3,190 providers with a PMS contract, compared to £3,503.1 million paid to 3,303 providers in 2013-14
  • £212.8 million was to 289 providers with an APMS contract, compared to £185.6 million paid to 276 providers in 2013-14.

In terms of payment per patient, the sum averaged £141, up from the £136 the previous year.

When dispensing practice data is separated out:

  • the 1,118 general practice service providers offering dispensing services were paid £1,728.4 million (£1,653.6 million paid to the 1,143 providers in 2013-14)
  • the 6,841 providers of non-dispensing services were paid £6,262 million (£5,978.1 million paid to 6,917 providers in 2013-14).

HSCIC has also published data on investment in general practice since 2010 across the UK. It indicates that in 2014-15 the total spend on general practice (including the reimbursement of drugs dispensed in general practices) saw increases of 0.5% in Wales, 0.88% in Scotland, 2.12% in Northern Ireland and 2.68% in England, with the UK as a whole up 2.43%.

Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the RCGP, commented: “It is important to note that the decade-long decline in the share of NHS funding for general practice has at last halted - but there is still a very long way to go before resources for general practice come anywhere near to matching the explosion in GP workload across the country.

“We may no longer be falling over a precipice but we are still teetering at the brink. GPs and our teams already make 90% of NHS patient contacts – and with government calls for us to do even more by offering routine access to general practice seven days a week – the very small increase in funding for GP services, barely altering the share of the NHS budget that general practice receives, simply doesn’t make sense.

“This needs to change. We are making 60 million more patient consultations now than we were five years ago, and with our growing and ageing population, this trend is set to continue. Yet funding for our service and the number of GPs over this period has remained relatively stagnant.”

Yesterday, the RCGP launched a petition “calling on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt for ‘a cast iron guarantee’ that his proposals to impose the new contract on junior doctors will not adversely affect the pay and conditions of GP trainees – or risk railroading GP recruitment and jeopardising patient care.”

It claims that if the proposed new junior doctors’ contract goes through, the target of having 5,000 additional GPs by 2020 will fall short.

“The petition calls on the Secretary of State for urgent and imperative reassurances that the new contract will ‘not have a detrimental effect on pay and conditions of medical graduates choosing general practice, and to provide clarification about how the proposals will work, particularly in light of the proposed removal of salary supplements that GPs receive during their training’.”

Links:

HSCIC NHS Payments to General Practice, England, 2014-15        

HSCIC Investment in General Practice, 2010-11 to 2014-15, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland                

RCGP comment on payments   

RCGP announcement on petition            

RCGP petition   

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