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Why are there two seniority pay options for PMS?

I gather there are two options for seniority pay for PMS practices after April to reflect the arrangements under GMS2. Can you explain?

It is intended seniority pay should increase in parallel with increases in GMS2. The choices are set out quite clearly on page 20 of Sustaining Innovation Through New PMS Arrangements.

In 2003/4 the PMS allocations to PCOs have increased by 3.225 per cent to cover the equivalent rise in GMS fees and allowances (2.85 per cent) and the new seniority payments.

PMS practices have two choices:

Option 1 to uplift the whole contract price by 3.225 per cent, which would include all seniority payments.

Option 2 to uplift the contract price by 2.85 per cent minus the current notional seniority entitlements and then to add on the new notional seniority entitlement for each GP, which would be equivalent to their entitlement under GMS2.

This same principle would apply after 2004.

Option 1 could well benefit a youthful practice, or one that employed salaried clinical staff who would not be entitled to individual seniority payments.

If a number of older partners had retired recently the current seniority uplift is probably disproportionately high and a straight percentage increase could well be more favourable to that practice.

However, older individual partners within the practice could well be disadvantaged, unless an internal practice agreement on distribution of seniority pay could be reached.

Option 2 could well be disadvantageous to a youthful practice that employed salaried clinical staff, although individual older GPs within the practice would probably benefit.

Each PMS practice would therefore need to calculate which choice would be most beneficial in financial terms to the practice as a whole, while taking into account the individual position of each GP and reaching a mutually acceptable internal agreement.

Dr Christine Dewbury, Wessex LMCs

Neither Pulse nor Wessex LMCs can accept any legal liability in respect of the answers given. Readers should seek independent advice before acting on the information concerned.

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