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CCGs told to decide how to spend PMS savings before cutting practices' income

NHS England regional teams and CCGs have been told to plan how they will redistribute money made from cuts to PMS contracts before making the cuts. 

Reviews of all PMS contracts were supposed to be concluded across England by 1 April but some have been delayed.

Under the terms of the review, agreed by NHS England with the GPC, area teams were told to establish how much of the extra funding given to PMS practices was not linked to extra services. 

This money would then be redistributed to general practice within the CCG area.

But now NHS England has issued a clarification to NHS England regional teams and CCG leaders to say they should prioritise the reinvestment plans before making cuts, in order to offset concerns amongst PMS practices losing funding.

In the letter, sent 16 May, NHS England director of NHS commissioning Rosamond Roughton said PMS practices were 'understandably' concerned about their funding reducing where they were not clear on reinvestment proposals.

The letter said: 'We have been clear on the need to ensure PMS practices can plan for the net impact of these funding changes by ensuring any funding reductions can be set against local proposals for reinvestment.

'However this communication of new earning opportunities is not happening universally in all areas and PMS practices in those instances will understandably be concerned.'

She said NHS England is 'therefore requesting that all local commissioners ensure these reinvestment proposals are confirmed locally to PMS practices before any actual reductions to funding are made to PMS practices who are facing reductions in funding'.

In repsonse, Ms Roughton said the 'immediate priority' of commissioners 'should be on confirming reinvestment plans for 2016/17 and, where possible, 2017/18'.

She said: 'This information should be made routinely available to PMS practices for the period of time PMS review funding changes apply.'

The letter added that it was 'important that any funding changes are managed in a way that does not risk destabilising general practice'.

But there have been reports that PMS reviews have already destabilised practices. For example:

 

Readers' comments (8)

  • As a GMS practice that receives £107 per patient, while I am sympathetic to practices that have been receiving £200 per patient and now might only get £150 per patient....it is still possible to run a practice....unless your funding is so crap then simply do what I do ie DO NOT PAY myself for 2 sessions a week to subsidise the practice and keep it afloat....simples....

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  • "DO NOT PAY myself for 2 sessions a week to subsidise the practice and keep it afloat....simples...."

    Simples seem appropriate. You're an idiot if you're doing this and no wonder other practices negotiated a better deal than you. Maybe the money would be better spent on a business manager?

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  • I think 'idiot' is a bit strong. I subsidise my income by doing sessional work outside the practice (CCG, occupational etc). This allows me to draw less from the practice and to employ an additional salaried. Effectively I am subsidising the practice to keep it afloat.

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  • Fears of privatisation are exaggerated . " The Practice Group" in Brighton has had its funding reduced switching out of PMS. It will hand back the contract because it can't make sufficient profit with funding that will still be higher than GMS.

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  • "Effectively I am subsidising the practice to keep it afloat."

    Yes, I understood that. That is my definition of idiocy.

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  • 4.54 would be better off working the sessions elsewhere and giving 2 sessions worth of income to charity if that is his/her wish.

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  • I'm with Sessional/Locum GP - if it don't float, let it sink.

    Find out from NHSE if they will tender your practice if you hand the contract back, and make plans to do so. If they want to let the market decide, let them. There are plenty of better paid tasks in the world. Why live with the jeopardy?

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  • rather than shedding tears over the "loss" of these large amounts of money, it might be more appropriate to consider how these practices got away with receiving all this excess funding without any additional work being done.

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