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Practices with 2-3 GPs have the lowest expenses, NHS analysis shows

Non-dispensing, GMS-contracted practices with two-three GPs have the lowest level of expenses per registered patient, analysis has suggested.

The data analysis from NHS Digital (formerly the Health and Social Care Information Centre), which looked at GP income and tax records from 2013/14 by practice level, showed that such practices had average expenses of £76.18 per patient.

Conversely, the highest level of expenses were found at single-handed, dispensing, PMS-contracted practices, with average costs of £189.71 per patient.

The analysis, which was commissioned by NHS England to inform its ongoing review into the Carr-Hill allocations formula, also found a large discrepancy in costs of practicing in a rural versus an urban area.

Non-dispensing rural practices on (GMS and PMS) contracts had expenses of £91.90, compared to urban counterparts with only £84.63 per patient.

NHS Digital advised that the figures 'should be treated with an appropriate degree of caution' due to 'uncertainty associated with sample data' obtained from GP census data already published.

The long-standing pledge to update the Carr-Hill formula, which weights practice funding according to characteristics of the patient population, was most recently revisited in the GP Forward View but the complex issue has been under discussion since 2007.

Pulse revealed last year that some discussions had raised the prospect of a separate contract for practices with rural or atypical populations.

Readers' comments (4)

  • As we always knew small practices provide the most efficient and effective personalised service that patients like and need
    The legions of managers etc know better as usual with their mindbending ignorant arrogance

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  • DOI - Work for a average (7k) size practice.

    All well and good if you can control for quality. But that's easier said than done.

    If they are generally cheap because either their clinical outcomes or their compliance is poor, then its not good value, just good price. Big practices tend to perform better on compliance and governance. Smaller practices tend to do better on continuity, and have lower admissions as a result, and have less fall through the cracks. However familiarity decreases how quickly cancer is identified.

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  • Carr-Hill is the Trojan horse with which successive governments have empowered NHSE to fleece, coerce and bully Practices which are inconvenient. It's their 'hit man' to blow you out of the water if you are inconvenient. Like the mafia 'hit man', Carr-Hill is the holy mace that cannot be discarded or changed into a normally function instrument.
    Where does politics end and normality begin?

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  • Small Practices spend less because they are given less. Larger Practices spend more because they have more to spend. If they don't, part of it will be taxed anyway. Nothing that one needed to Data analysis on - but, of course, you have whole gang of people employed on 100k salaries doing this stupid data stuff that is a waste of NHS resources.

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