MPIG for access 'will not work'
Moving MPIG cash into incentives to improve patient access will not work and could result in redundancies, the NHS Alliance has claimed.Dr David Jenner, contract lead for the alliance, insisted funding emphasis should instead be shifted away from quality and back towards the global sum.He was responding to health minister Andy Burnham's suggestion, in an exclusive interview with Pulse earlier this month, that MPIG cash could be moved into an incentive scheme to encourage more flexible opening hours.Dr Jenner said the MPIG had been necessary because the new contract had allocated money to the quality and outcomes framework and cut the global sum. 'Most practices are doing well under the QOF so there's a need for a review,' he said.'But incentives won't work because I can't see any more money being put into the system. We need to put more money in the global sum and less in quality.'He proposed a target system, using differential application of growth money. 'If you take money away from small businesses, there will be problems – staff will have to be laid off and such like. But what you can do is not give money to underperformers,' he suggested.Dr Mo Dewji, head of primary care contracting at the Department of Health and a GP in Milton Keynes, called for a 'completely different system' for funding general practice.He said: 'Andy is starting the debate and there is no conclusion yet. There are significant issues to discuss.'Mike Farrar, chief executive of the North West strategic health authority and a contract negotiator for NHS Employers, added: 'MPIG disproportionately distributes resources to practices, not correlated to the needs of the population and therefore is unfair.'