Practices' NHS income increased by £1.04 per patient last year
GP practices’ income from the NHS increased by 0.7% last year - way below the overall funding uplift of 3.4% in 2018/19 - official figures released today have revealed.
The payments to general practice report released by NHS Digital revealed that practices in England received £154.81 in 2018/19, up from £153.77 the previous year.
These payments include premises payments and dispensing fees.
It incorporated changes to the 2018/19 GP contract, which saw total funding increase by 3.4%, designed to fund a 1% pay increase for GPs.
Under that contract, there was £256.3m in additional funding to cover rising expenses – including £60m to cover indemnity inflation.
Last month, NHS figures appeared to show average earnings across all types of GPs in the UK increased by 2.5% last year, while expenses have reached a record high. However, GP leaders suggested this could be because of declining numbers of GPs to share the funding being put into general practice.
BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘For too long investment has not kept up with the demands being placed on general practice, and the marginal increase in the year up to April this year – itself far smaller than in previous years – is completely inadequate. Over the same time period the number of patients registered at practices in England went up by more than 700,000 and we lost more than 440 full-time equivalent GPs – meaning doctors and their teams are being stretched to their limits.'
On funding per practice, he added: ‘Other figures today show that practices receive just under £155 a year on average per patient to provide virtually unlimited care. Not only is this astonishing value for money for the Government, but it also demonstrates how hard GPs are working to care for patients in their area, many of whom will have a series of complex conditions, with inadequate investment in return.
Londonwide LMCs chief executive Dr Michelle Drage said: ‘We need to look beyond the top line to see the real picture. It’s the bottom lines after expenses that determine the sustainability of practices and we continue to have deep concerns about those, and their impact for the GP and practice team workforce.’
CORRECTION: This article originally said income increased by £2.73 per patient in 2018/19. This was incorrect, as NHS Digital changed their methodology from last year. We are happy to correct this mistake, and apologies for any confusion.
For full details about your practice’s funding, visit pulse-intelligence.co.uk, our new personalised service that analyses all your practice’s income compared with your peers and neighbours.