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GP contract changes will make ‘tiny difference’ to practice finances, NHS England admits

GP contract changes will make ‘tiny difference’ to practice finances, NHS England admits

The GP contract changes will ‘only make a tiny difference’ to practices, NHS England’s national director of primary care has admitted.

During a webinar on the new GP contract yesterday evening, Dr Amanda Doyle was faced with hundreds of disappointed comments from attending GPs.

Acknowledging concerns, she admitted that contractual changes aimed at ‘increasing flexibility’ would only make a small difference compared to increased funding.

But she cast the blame on the Department of Health and Social Care, whose financial allocation gave NHS England ‘no power’ to improve GP financial conditions.

She said: ‘I absolutely get it – we had a cash envelope within we could work, and no option at all to go above that. And as you know allocation comes from the Department of Health and this is what we are given.

‘I absolutely recognise why people feel like they do, I absolutely recognise what the pressures are, and I know that it only makes a tiny difference increasing flexibility and improving cash flow.

‘But it does not change the overall position, and I have no power to do anything to increase the overall financial position at this point.’

Dr Doyle also added that a further uplift may be made following the Government’s response to the independent pay review body recommendations for 2024/25.

Last month Pulse revealed that the Government will reconsider its GP funding uplift offer once the independent pay review body makes a recommendation.

The 2024/25 GP contract round is the first time in five years that the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB) has been asked to give a recommendation on GP partner pay.

Dr Doyle said: ‘When DDRB release their recommendations the Government will look at those, review the position and decide.

‘Whatever is applied for DDRB this year will apply to GP partners as well – I don’t know what that will be until they recommend, and the Government decides whether to take on the recommendations.’

Dr Doyle also faced questions about a new contractual requirement to consider continuity of care when a patient makes contact.

In response to concerns aired among GP attendees, she said that this won’t be ‘another set of boxes to tick’.

Dr Doyle said: ‘We are really keen that what we do is not just introducing another set of boxes to tick or things to measure, so we are looking at ways in which we can recognise the importance of continuity while making it easily measurable.’

The 2024/25 contract, announced earlier this week and including a funding increase of just over 2%, received strong criticism from the profession, with the BMA’s GP committee chair saying that the imposition forms part of an intentional ‘ideological dismantling’ of NHS general practice.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Andrew Robertson 1 March, 2024 12:35 pm

If she really recognises the financial position of general practice and ‘gets it’ but can’t improve it she should resign in protest to the department of health.

Darren Tymens 1 March, 2024 12:38 pm

The NHSE webinar was a complete car crash.

BMA should ask her to run the same webinar every evening for a month; it was so effective at inflaming GPs and inciting industrial action, BMA should consider sponsoring it.

It won’t make a ‘tiny difference’ – it will make another large negative difference, following on from years of disinvestment in the form of below-inflation uplifts.

Disgraceful stuff from NHSE.

Adam Crowther 1 March, 2024 1:22 pm

At least this point can now be advertised in our waiting rooms that NHSE have stated that the government don’t value patients and as such their services are directly suffering and deteriorating 😩

David Church 1 March, 2024 1:34 pm

Only a ‘tiny difference’ would be far preferable than the current prospect of a continued massive defunding by only increasing income bay far less than the recent rate of inflation!
I am not sure people with such poor graps of mathematics (that’s “sums” madame) should be allowed to be involved in government financial matters.

So the bird flew away 1 March, 2024 10:55 pm

Poacher turned gamekeeper, must be suffering severe cognitive dissonance..

Harish Mistry 2 March, 2024 9:55 am

Dr Roberson she’ll await an OBE MBE OR CBE then resign as job done

Simon Gilbert 3 March, 2024 11:02 am

If the NHS/government cut inflation and activity related funding to Primary Care but will always bail out secondary care does present a moral imperative to GPs to increase NHS funding by pushing more activity to secondary care?