Minister claims MPIG on course to go within five years
By Gareth Iacobucci
Health Minister Ben Bradshaw says the MPIG would be on course to disappear within five years, based on a theoretical figure of GPs getting a 2% pay uplift.
Mr Bradshaw also declared that the Government had made a major breakthrough towards peace with the BMA, following yesterday's announcement on the 08/09 contract changes and admitted he was surprised that negotiations had gone so smoothly.
Mr Bradshaw said the agreement, whcih will see correction factor payments slashed, the square root formula uprooted and QOF given a major reform, represented ‘further improvement in value for money in the GP contract, and heralds the end of the MPIG'.
He said: ‘There has been no uplift for 3 years, if a calculation is an uplift of 2% a year, MPIG will be gone in five years.'
Commenting on the how the deal would affect the Government's relationship with the profession, he added: ‘I wouldn't underestimate the contribution this makes to a peace settlement. We're pleased with the BMA and a little surprised that we've got as far as we have.'
Dr Richard Vautrey, GPC deputy chair, agreed that relations had thawed between negotiators and the Government, after years of open warfare.
He said: 'The deal agreed between GPC and the NHS Employers represents a welcome improvement in our relationship.
'By working together we can achieve much more that will be to the benefit of patients and those working in the NHS. We now hope that in its evidence to the DDRB the government will encourage the recommendation of an award to practices that will ensure that this agreement achieves what it is intended to do.
'That is remove as many practices as possible off MPIG and at the same time increase the resources enough for all practices, so that they can invest with confidence in their surgeries for the future benefit of their patients.'
Gill Bellord, Director of Pay, Pensions and Employment Relations at NHS Employers, said: ‘Employers are sympathetic to the difficulties that staff are facing in the current economic climate, but unaffordable increases would potentially risk pushing costs too far – as well as damaging service delivery and service improvements - and would not be helpful to staff in the longer term.
The BMA and NHS Employers will now make separate recommendations for the amount of the GP pay award for GMS practices.