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PMS cuts could force practice redundancies

GP practices are being forced to consider redundancies or salary reductions in the face of 15% cuts to their budgets.

NHS Lambeth in south London is looking to make £7.71m of savings through 2011/12 to 2012/13. In a letter to GPs, it said £2.4m would be saved through PMS services. This represents an average 10% cut for practices.

Professor Azeem Majeed, head of primary care at Imperial College, and a part time GP in Lambeth, said his practice's budget had been cut by 15% when the reduction in other funding, including the cost of funding transitional services, is taken into account.

These savings include the termination of seven LESs, including provision of services at five care homes, GPSI minor surgery and the end of life gold standard framework. The PCT is also reviewing services in physiotherapy and osteopathy.

Professor Majeed said: ‘Some practices have been telling their staff to prepare for cuts. Clearly people want to avoid making redundancies, but some clinics have said their staff are at risk of redundancy. What is more likely is than people leaving will not be replaced. We have someone leaving soon and we will not be replacing them in the short term until we understand what is happening to finances.'

A spokesperson for NHS Lambeth said: 'The PMS Funding Review which we have conducted has sought to ensure improved and demonstrable value for money; as well as fairness of resource allocation across practices, clearly defined and monitored performance standards, and better health outcomes for patients.  Our review of enhanced services aims to ensure that provision is care efficient and cost effective.'