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More than four out of five practices take up PMS ‘transition’ offer

Around 85% of PMS practices in Cambridgeshire have signed up to a scheme to move back on to a GMS contract, rather than face the ‘significant destabilisation’ of the PMS review process

The 59 PMS practices in Cambridgeshire were among the 149 in East Anglia offered the deal brokered between Suffolk, Norfolk and Waveney, and Cambridgeshire LMCs and NHS England East Anglia area team.

The initial sign up deadline was 10 October, but Norfolk and Waveney and Suffolk GPs have had their deadline pushed back untill 5 December.

The deal came about after an area team analysis found that found 67 practices were estimated to lose between £100,000 to £199,000 and 42 practices were set to lose more than £200,000 annually as a result of the PMS reviews taking place across the country, which have been instigated to bring PMS contracts in line with GMS contracts.

Under the deal, practices were offered a the chance to move straight to GMS, undergo PMS reviews or go through the ‘transition’ which will gradually bring practices in line with the predicted ‘seven-year endpoint’ for GMS practices of £78.33 per patient.

The remainder of the PMS practices opted to face PMS reviews instead, some under the advice of the LMC, and work is now underway to ensure the reviews are conducted in a ‘timely’ manner and that additional work done by these practices is adequately recognised.

In its November newsletter, Cambridgeshire LMC said: ‘About 85% of our PMS practices have opted to accept the pre-review offer. We should not underestimate the challenge that this disinvestment from essential services will cause, and the vulnerabilities generated.’

Neither should we deny the difficulties already met on the way in securing dependable and understandable baseline figures.

However, as a whole system, we should be delighted that we have guaranteed the reinvestment of all the local PMS premiums back into patient services in all our practices. We are looking forward to continued constructive dialogue with NHS England and our CCG.

A similair transition scheme for Essex PMS practices, dubbed the ‘Essex Factor’, saw sign ups from more than half of PMS practices.

However, NHS England called a halt to PMS reviews in September while managers met to agree a consistent national rather than variable local schemes on offer.