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Gold, incentives and meh

New GP contract: what’s in and what’s out?

The contract agreement in England has secured new investment, but GP leaders say ministers still need to come up with a rescue deal, finds Sofia Lind [Click the pop-out icon to view the gallery]

GP practices are to receive a 3.2% funding uplift next year, after belated contract negotiations between the GPC and the Government concluded last month.

The 2016/17 GP contract for England includes increased investment of £220m to cover a 1% pay uplift and rising expenses such as indemnity fees, national insurance, employer superannuation increases and practice running costs.

The Department of Health says this also includes £15 million to help cover the massive hike in CQC fees.

Accountants say this could amount to the first pay rise for GP partners ‘in many years’.

The GPC says the contract offers ‘immediate financial support’, and for the first time recognises the specific expenses incurred by practices.

Other key features of the deal include ending the dementia DES, a commitment to explore the removal of the QOF and the unplanned admissions DES, and new requirements for practices to report a high spend on locums and local access to seven-day routine services.

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul says: ‘These limited changes provide some immediate financial support, which for the first time in years recognises the expenses incurred by practices and the resources needed to deliver a pay uplift rather than a pay cut’. 

Accountants are cautiously optimistic. They say early impressions of the contract are that it stands a better chance of delivering a profit increase – ‘however modest’ – than its predecessors.

Luke Bennett, a partner at Francis Clark LLP and a committee member of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA), tells Pulse: ‘As ever there will be winners and losers at an individual practice level, but an overall settlement that is intended to give a pay rise of 1% when inflation is running at less than 1% will be the first real pay increase (however modest) for many years.’

Bob Senior, AISMA chair and head of medical services at accountants RSM, says the deal ‘stands a better chance than some awards in recent years’ of delivering a profit.

NHS England and the DH stress that the GP package of measures set to be announced by health secretary Jeremy Hunt next month will go further than these changes.

Mr Hunt says: ‘GPs are the bedrock of the NHS and I am determined to provide the support they need so they can spend more time with patients. This deal is just the start of significant new investment for general practice, which will help GPs to provide a truly modern, efficient service every day of the week.’

Scotland and Wales have moved to a three-year contract, which will be revised for 2017. Meanwhile, negotiations in Northern Ireland were continuing as Pulse went to press.

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Readers' comments (8)

  • Not a lot of clarity.

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  • This deal is just the start of significant new investment for general practice, which will help GPs to provide a truly modern, efficient service every day of the week.’

    i.e. we're going to screw you over and only if you work 8-8 7 days per week will you get a sniff of any cash (ignoring the massive under investment for the last decade). Actually 84 hours per week will mean more time spent with patients, why not go for legal requirements for the whole 168 hour week (prison if one objects) and with 5 minute appointments, no eating or drinking and no family ties butI suspect there'll still be moaning about GPs not doing enough but with Maureen, Steve, Chaand on your side trainees quick roll up and become a GP they'll lead you towards a satisfying and rewarding career…...

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  • Nothing justifies a burden of £2718 per year CQC Registration fee for a small Practice of 4000 increasing from £600 from previous year.
    These stupid policy makers have to remember that these imposed expenses have to come out of patient care. An increase of £2000 here and an increase in indemnity of £5-10k for Practices can mean that £12k less is spent on GP sessions - in my case I have to cut 20 locum sessions in the coming year which equates to 300 patients less being seen in Surgery in comparison with a reduction of 240 slots lost last year. We moan at a £50 increase in GMC fees but the government cartel runs CQC so you don't stand a chance of compromise on this one even if you scream at the top of your head.

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  • Can you please cut the annoying pop up ad to one second ? Tried about twenty times before I realised you had to let it run for three seconds

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  • 1% great news !

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  • The fools ...we are 2 ft doctors losing £110000 through
    PMS review and weighted list
    Work it out

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  • Whole lot of nothing. 1 % increase no new GPs around longer hours more locums. What pay rise

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  • we all need to be salaried- it the only way to control workload and patient safety and our sanity
    look at the BMA salaried GP contract as one salaried GP in our practice has and works to the letter= never late, no work without cancelled slots. even time to criticise the partners who are paid less per hour than salaried GP with all the stress
    GP partnership is a mugs game!
    BMA please wake up and smell the coffee- a fundamental change is needed

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