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Practice cashflow hit by QOF cuts worth thousands of pounds per month

Exclusive GPs are seeing cuts amounting to thousands of pounds each month in their early QOF payments due to the impact of the GP contract changes, causing cashflow problems and some to consider reducing their drawings.

Pulse has discovered that practices have begun receiving their first statements from local area teams, which have showed cuts in their ‘aspiration’ QOF payments, a result of the removal of most QOF organisational points by the Government.  

Although practices can regain most of this money through the new direct enhanced services announced by the Government, this will not be until later in the year and GPs have told Pulse they have been taken completely by surprise by the size of the reductions.

This comes as practice managers complain of problems with irregular payments and problems with claiming for business rates and water bills.

QOF aspiration payments, which are made throughout the year in anticipation of practices achieving the same QOF points as the previous year, are meant to ease practice finances, but this year’s reduction is proving problematic.

Dr Kamal Sidhu, a GP in County Durham, said his practice has seen its cashflow reduced by £2,000 as a result of the changes, which has caused the practice problems.

He said: ‘Our practice manager noticed that the payments from QOF had gone down by about £2,000 per month for a practice of about 9,000 patients.

‘She brought this up at the practice managers’ group meeting and they have all noticed it, without any prior warning. There was no information given to practices about this.

‘This is a big problem for the feasibility of the cashflow issues, which means we might have to look at our monthly withdrawal figures.’

QOF expert Dr Gavin Jamie, a GP in Swindon, said monthly payments have been reduced. He said: ‘Our figures have gone down but this is due to the cut in the number of points in QOF from 1000 to 900, the other 100 points having been taken off for the DESs. Aspiration payments have been cut by 10% to adjust for that.

‘Hopefully some of the DES payments will be made quarterly to try to help the cash flow situation.’

GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘It depends on how the DES payments are going to be paid. Clearly there will be less resource, which is what we have been saying over the past few months… The whole value of QOF has gone down, so this was inevitable.’

Readers' comments (7)

  • And you still wish to work in the NHS. Why? What makes us so reluctant to leave ? Doctors will always be needed, alas.
    Solicitors, management consultants get £ 200/hr from the public purse.
    Time to leave or at least, put it to the vote.

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  • @Anonymous | 24 April 2013 6:05pm

    Oh please give me a break.Same old swan song.Don't you ever get tired of it.They're not leaving because inspite of the cuts they're still relatively well paid.They can still afford their big houses,fancy cars and kids' private schooling.The real indicator of if and when the cuts do bite will be them downsizing in their personal lifes.

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  • @Anonymous 632
    Massive pay cuts over the last 4 years even BEFORE this years QOF changes bite.
    ALL GPs I know have downsized their lives!
    Most GPs where I work have very small cars.
    The last thing we would sacrifice are our children and our homes (like most working people)
    I am offended by your petty attitude. Of course GPs are "relatively well paid" -do you think they should earn less than shop assistants. Compared to other professional groups they are not well pain at all!
    Truly ignorant post!

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  • @ anonymous. Don't be such a coward and snipe from behind your tag. Stand up and be counted.

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  • Anonymous 829. My local practices are all buying new premises and new, expensive cars, Porches, big BMW's etc. I have no problem with this as I think it should be a well paid profession. But this constant how badly treated/paid rhetoric from the professsion is very tiresome when there is little visible evidence to support it, especially when no one at the practice actually works full time because the practice is only open for 9 sessions a week

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  • So, other than moaning and having a go at each other, what are you actually going to do for yourselves at your own practice? There are many options, incl looking at costs, renegotiating contracts, incl Gas, Electricity, pay rate, bonuses, Locum rate and so on. Work Smarter and if you don't know how to, leave and do Locum work and stop going on and on. I agree most of those ideas are time consuming, but that is why you have Practice Managers or Managing Partners. Open on Saturday/Sunday, look at services you provide, consider merging with other practices, or at the very least, share Admin jobs, say across the your cluster/peer group. It is actually quite easy to achieve huge savings by working together and let's not forget forward planning. Hope I have not upset anyone, but we are all professionals in charge of our own future.

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  • rubbish...who the hell say it is well paid....may be when compare to dust bin pay but not if u compare to other professionals such as lawyer etc...every year on the paid cut that;s why i am going to f**** moving out of nhs n go to north america instead...get real!! porch cars....only few have it not all....

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