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The nationwide PMS contract review, and what it means for you

What is happening to PMS practice funding?

NHS England area teams are reviewing all PMS contracts – the flexibly negotiated contracts that were introduced to better tackle particular needs of patients based on local priorities – with the view to ensure any extra funding above and beyond what an equivalent GMS practice would get is actually linked to providing extra services.

When will contracts be reviewed?

NHS England has asked all of its area teams to review PMS contracts over the next two years, starting from April this year.

Why is NHS England doing this?

NHS England did a national review of PMS funding and concluded much of it was not in fact linked with offering extra services above and beyond those provided by GMS-contracted practices.

How much money are we talking about?

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NHS England identified £260m not explicitly linked to extra services.

And how much for individial practices?

Accountants who have sat down with clients to do the sums have concluded that losses of £50,000 to £150,000 are likely to be common, while some exceptional practices may lose up to £400,000.

What is likely to happen to that money?

Early signs are for area teams to take different approaches to the process. While NHS England’s London area team is creating a single, standardised PMS contract for all the capital, area teams including Essex and Cambridgeshire are effectively phasing out the PMS contracts by gradually reducing their premium over time. The common denominator is that the funding being clawed back looks likely to be used to incentivise both PMS and GMS practices to achieve local outcomes targets in line with local plans.

Does this spell the end of the PMS contract?

NHS England says it wants to keep all of the different contractual models but area teams incentivising PMS practices to switch to GMS seemed to contradict the policy. NHS England has also said it wants GMS practices to also be able to access the extra money currently in the PMS pot.