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PCTs launch ‘Robin Hood’ raids on PMS practice budgets

By Alisdair Stirling

Exclusive: PCTs are handing cash from PMS to GMS practices in a series of ‘Robin Hood’-style redistributions that have been branded ‘divisive’ by some GPs.

The moves follow advice by NHS Primary Care Commissioning last year that trusts should shift PMS money to GMS practices to create ‘winners and losers’ from contractual reviews.

NHS Derbyshire County and NHS Derby City are piloting a ‘Fairer Funding’ initiative aimed at evening out variations between local practices.

Practices are being offered revised contracts based around core GMS baseline funding of £65 per patient plus £11 for signing up to a basket of enhanced services. If the new formula is not accepted by 14 January, PMS funding will be slashed to fund a 4% cut in the primary care budget.

Dr Peter Holden, GPC negotiator and a GP in Matlock, Derbyshire, said: ‘Some PMS practices could get murdered.’

Dr Sean King, a GP in Buxton, Derbyshire, and LMC member told colleagues the project was ‘divisive’ and the timing, leading up to commissioning, ‘disastrous’.

Elsewhere, NHS Devon PCT is trying to save £250,000 from its primary care budget by ‘levelling’ funding to £75 per patient – from current variations of £55 to £136.

Dr David Jenner, a PMS GP in Cullompton, Devon and spokesperson on GP contracts for the NHS Alliance, said the ‘Robin Hood cuts’ would hurt better-off PMS practices.

‘The PCT is removing cash from the top quartile of practice,’ he said. ‘They were going to pocket that but the LMC negotiated that 50% of it will be reinvested into practices at the bottom end of the curve.’

Dr Peter Holden: ‘Some PMS practices could get murdered’ Dr Peter Holden: ‘Some PMS practices could get murdered’ Finance Skills in Challenging Times

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