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Practices to lose up to £63,000 as local extended hours enhanced service cut

A CCG is cutting down the hours allowed by their local extended hours enhanced service, which will lead to six practices losing funding of up to £63,000.

NHS Leicester City CCG currently runs an extended hours ‘community based service’ (CBS), alongside the national extended hours DES, which currently has no limit on the extra hours a practice can open outside core hours to receive money.

However, the CCG is now imposing a limit of 30 minutes per 1,000 patients because of new GP hubs that will be offering extended hours services.

Altogether six practices will lose money, with funding at one practice reducing by £63,180 (from £91,260 to £28,080) and another by £28,080.

According to the Leicester Mercury, Sara Prema, director of strategy and implementation at the CCG said: ‘It is proposed that the basis of the DES maximum hours of 30 minutes per 1,000 patients per week is used for the CBS.

‘For example, where a practice is entitled to a maximum of three hours under the DES, then another three hours would be permitted under the CBS – giving a maximum total of six hours across both schemes.’

The practice that will lose most money currently opens for 13 extended hours per week, although by its practice population, its DES limit is two hours. The new CBS limit will therefore only fund them an extra two hours above this, leaving the extra nine hours of opening unfunded.

According to the proposal report: ‘Affected practices would be able to apply to the fund for practices encountering difficulties should this change cause a sustainability issue in the practice.’

Sue Lock, managing director of the CCG, said that although there would be fewer appointments, ‘this will be made up for with appointments in the GP hubs’, of which there are four in the city offering evening appointments.

Dr Rajesh Kapur, whose practice will lose £28,080, told the Leicester Mercury: ‘We see this as a very important for patients and we are in talks with the CCG to see if other funds are available to maintain the service.’

According to the Leicester Mercury, the CCG’s primary care commissioning committee have now agreed to this proposal with the proposed start date of 1 November.

It comes after Pulse revealed that CCGs are, on the whole, investing more money into local enhanced services.