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GPs go forth

Almost nine in 10 GPs are concerned about their practice finances

Hardly any GPs or practice managers are confident about the financial future of their GP practice.

The Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and Future Focused Finance (FFF) surveyed 365 GPs and staff in business or practice management roles.

It found that 87% of respondents were 'not confident' or had 'some concern' about the financial outlook for their practice in two to three years’ time, while fewer than 2% were 'highly confident' for the financial outlook of their practice.

When asked what caused the financial pressures, GPs and practice managers put this down to struggles with 'meeting existing growing demand within current core funding' (94%), 'growth in obligatory costs' (92%) and 'capacity required to provide additional activity' (90%).

In order to improve the situation, most favoured bettwen understanding of general practice and better working relationships with CCGs.

The report warns that the Government's 'priority given to transferring work from secondary to primary care settings' and 'introducing new models of care' is 'adding additional risk to an already stretched general practice'.

The document said: 'There are urgent issues that need to be addressed and these will only be exacerbated should the pace of change continue to outstrip the sector’s preparedness.

'Reducing the administrative burden, improving relationships and partnership working (with commissioners and providers), and providing the right professional support and guidance to inform decision-making are key factors to be addressed as the NHS moves ahead with the GP Forward View.'

Readers' comments (3)

  • DOH needs to understand that practices have very little in terms of source of income other than Gms and enhanced services. If that does not keep pace, then sooner or later it's game over. As a partner of 18years in his 40s, I can say this is the most uncertainty I have faced. I think we have been squeezed enough. I have done everything to ensure my practice works as efficiently as possible using skill mix and being prudent with finances. If there is no investment soon, Ill call it a day as soon as my income is below that of my salaried colleagues as it will no longer make any sense to continue. DOH also need to understand that they really don't have a credible plan b either and need us. The 5YFW is a total failure and the approach is wrong. Practices need direct funding not workshops on how to be efficient as most practices are scrapping the bottom of the barrel. It's a disaster waiting to happen.

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  • The DOH will pay us the least amount they can. That is their brief.
    We can either accept it or walk away [ if we can].
    There are plenty of free lance jobs out there. Why all the angst ?

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  • The remaining 10% is LMC/NHSE cronies and CCG members - the cardigans who tend to torpedo any action that can improve the lot of fellow GPs.

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