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A faulty production line

LMCs support call for minimum funding of £200 per patient per year

GP leaders have supported a call for a minimum payment per patient per year of £200, translating currently to 11% of total NHS funding.

The motion specifically demanded ‘all practices receive at least £200 per patient per year’, compared with a current average of £141 per patient.

It said the current figure was ’wholly inadequate to provide a safe, sustainable and responsive service that meets the growing needs' of patients.

Presenting the motion, vice-chair of Leeds LMC Dr Nicola Hambridge said current average funding in England calculated by the Health and Social Care Information Centre was '38.5p per day – that is 11.75p a month or £141 per year’.

She said this would in a different context buy her ‘a cappucino a week’ or 'an annual policy covering boiler breakdown… including one annual boiler health check’ and that in light of the fall of the general practice budget from 11% of overall NHS funding 10 years ago to today’s 8%, it was 'no wonder we are left with a service that is neither safe nor sustainable’.

She said '£200 was 'a minimum, a starting point, to begin to reduce inequality and reverse the systematic neglect of general practice over the past 10 years’.

Dr Richard Claxton from Kent LMC argued that ‘£200 as a flat fee’ was ‘the wrong way to proceed’ because ‘before we know it, that figure will be out of date and we are worth more than that’.

But GPC executive member Dr Brian Balmer urged LMC delegates to remember ‘why they are here’ and note that ‘an increase in funding will allow us to be safer’.

He noted that:‘If the funding goes up, we can do more.’

Although the Government has promised GP funding should increase 4-5% per year until 2020/21, the DH has also suggested that boosting GMS contractual funding to practices will not alleviate the problems within general practice, such as recruitment.

Meanwhile, NHS England suggested in its submission to the independent pay review body that GPs may not need any funding uplift at all in 2016/17. The GPC has branded the claims ‘ridiculous’ and warned they would further damage GP morale. 

The motion in full

LEEDS: That conference notes that practices currently provide a year of care for an average of £141 per patient and believes that this is wholly inadequate to provide a safe, sustainable and responsive service that meets the growing needs of their patients and therefore calls on governments to ensure that all practices receive at least £200 per patient per year.

Source: BMA


Readers' comments (11)

  • Funding is an irrelevance, capacity is the issue.

    I cant work any harder and you cant pay other GPs to do the work if they dont exist.

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  • Oh there are GPs out there, 50 000 of them. The issue is that too many are part time or have chosen to do other things including changing career paths. Proper funding and less politician meddling will bring a huge number back.

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  • £200/p as long as you :
    Never refer anyone to hospital
    Never prescribe any medication other than hospital repeats
    Start outpatient clinics at your surgery of all specialities and
    Carry out liver transplant and brain surgery in your minor op room

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  • Just a thought........My cat insurance costs me £456.00 per year............... (Increased from £228 last year and £124 the year before that because of 2 claims made during that time period) and we have to provide an "all-you-can-eat" service for an average £141.00????

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  • Car insurance is high not to ocver the car but as insurance for the increasing "personal injuries" claims. £200 per patient plus medical indemnity for every NHS doctor might be a starting point.

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  • How about £267.42 or £456.78? What a moronic motion. Why would anyone take these people seriously?

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  • Has anyone actually bothered to justify these figures? Why £200?

    Actually we have fallen from 11.5% of the NHS funding in 2004 to 6% of funding in 2014-15. So we have now half the funding we did a decade ago for double the consult rate, and considerably higher complexity, risk, and cost. Our costs have increased by 28% and net income down by 15%. So we have half the funding for twice as much work. We need to quadruple the funding to get back to where we were. Therefore it should be £564/patient. Clearly none of these people has ever bid for a contract.

    By the time we get there the cost of services will have increased well past this. Health inflation is at roughly 15%/yr, and indemnity is at 26% currently. Incidentally, that's the whole 41% that this rise respresents in one mouthful.

    Expect a huge wage hike with the National Living Wage reaching +£9 by 2020 with subsequent rises for all back office staff, cleaners, and then knock on rises for clinical staff who rightly expect to be paid proportionately more, not to mention growing supplier costs as a result. Add in the risks of pension change, CQC cost escalation, and you won't even standstill at £200. Supremely naive.

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  • 'll never understand where these figures come from. Is there an apartheid policy run by NHSE? Why is my Practice being paid around £90 per patient while averages quote from 136 to 141 per patient for England. Is it the principle of Us and Them with Us being the areas populated by middle class and rich people and the us being the areas where you have struggling middle class and council housing.
    Or is NHSE pursuing the policy - as in today's headlines of Blacks being paid less than white counterparts in white collared jobs in the City?
    I know this is controversial and unpleasant stuff but one needs to look at these factors too because when tomorrow if this utopian dream of £200 actually comes true, then my Practice will be getting 120 while all others get 200 based on whimsical attitudes prevalent up there.

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  • Don't worry Sanjeev it isn't apartheid, it is a legacy of old PMS arrangements which caused wide variability. Most practices in my area have been "equalised" which apparently means that there were winners and losers. Nationally this inequity will all be ironed out by the PMS review. All practices will be underfunded instead of most.

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  • @ 1:56 - very heartening indeed:)

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