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Pay deal will release thousands of GPs from MPIG

By Gareth Iacobucci

Thousands of GPs will no longer be reliant on the MPIG after the Government accepted the pay review body's recommendation of a 2.29% gross uplift to the GMS contract.

The proportion of practices that receive correction factors is to fall sharply from 90 to 77%, under the complex deal agreed last year to apply differential uplifts to the various components of the contract.

GPs will get an average pay rise of 1.5% after taking into account expenses – but those reliant on correction factors will receive significantly less than that headline figure.

The 10% of practices purely reliant on the global sum will enjoy the biggest rise in core income, of about 2.4%, while the three quarters of practices still wholly reliant on correction factors will get only around 0.7%.

All practices will also receive increases of around 1.7% in QOF and enhanced service payments, under the deal between the Department of Health and the GPC to uplift the contract in a 7:5:5:2 ratio for global sum, QOF, enhanced services and MPIG.

Figures supplied to Pulse by the DH reveal the combined impact of the contract uplift and the changes to the QOF prevalence formula. The DH believes a third of practices will see increases in total income of more than 2.29%, 26% will get between 1% and 2.29%, and 23% will get between 0% and 1%.

But it admits 13% will lose between 0.1% and 1% of income, 4% will lose up to 2% and 1% might see a reduction of 2-3%.

The GPC stressed the gradual removal of MPIG represented ‘a move towards a fairer system for all' but it has admitted this year's deal may be unfair to some practices highly reliant on their correction factors.

Some PCOs approached by Pulse believed there were genuine reasons for practices receiving high correction factors, such as deprivation levels, low practice list-size because of geographical isolation and historically agreed legacy staff budgets.

But GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman was quick to refute any suggestion that the uplift deal would create a new set of winners and losers.

‘Nobody loses. Everybody gets a pay rise,' he said. ‘If you're a global sum only practice you're in for quite a substantial rise. If you're a correction factor only practice and remain so you get a different amount.'

Dr Buckman acknowledged GPs ‘will be disappointed' not to get more, but said he was relieved the DDRB had ‘finally recognised GP partners should get the same as other doctors'.

But Dr Sarah Roscoe, a GP in Doncaster, warned many practices such as hers wouldn't see any tangible uplift in their own earnings because of rising expenses: ‘Any uplift is a good thing but compare that with what the RCN is requesting for practice nurses and what ancillary staff would like. Again very few GPs will see any uplift in their own earnings, particularly now the MPIG is being eroded by stealth.'

Bob Senior, partner at accountancy firm Tenon, said one of his GP clients with a big correction factor was set for an overall uplift of 0.74%, and another now coming off the MPIG would get 1.48%.

GP contract deal

The winners
• 33% of practices will see increases in income of more than 2.29%
• 26% will receive between 1% and 2.29%
• 23% will receive between 0% and 1%.

The losers
• 13% will lose between 0.1% and 1% of income
• 4% will lose up to 2%
• 1% will lose between 2-3%.

Source: the Department of Health

The GP pay deal will see many practices come off the MPIG

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