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Global sum to increase by 3% per patient from April

The global sum payment has increased by 3% for 2015/16 to £75.77 per patient, the Government has announced.

The increase to the global sum payment per patient – which does not include various weightings depending on individual practices’ circumstances – includes the 1.16% increase awarded by the Government, the reinvestment of MPIG money and money from the scrapped alcohol and patient participation DESs.

However, GP leaders and accountants were quick to point out that as the majority of this increase came from the redistribution of other practice funding, such as MPIG, many practices would be losing out.

The Statement of Financial Entitlement (SFE) for the new contract, published by NHS Employers, reveals that the global sum figure is up by £2.21 from this financial year’s payment per patient.

Last year, the global sum rose by £7.31 but that sharp rise was due not just to the ushering out of seniority pay but also a sizeable reduction to QOF.

GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘The increase in global sum is related to DDRB, the alcohol plus patient participation DES transfer and correction factor transfer. An adjustment will be made in October for seniority. The DDRB uplift only applies to global sum and will be replicated in PMS baselines.’

Bob Senior, chair of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants and head of medical services at Baker Tilly, said: ‘The 3% increase to global sum is going to be a combination of the [Government’s uplift] but also the recycling of stuff they have announced previously. So, for example, the 55p per weighted patient that is coming out of the [MPIG] correction factor.

‘It is mainly recycled money. It is quite rare to see new money coming in to primary care, they shuffle the deckchairs. To be fair there are some practices that will win from that because not all practices have a correction factor any more, so those practices are seeing fresh money coming in – but they are only seeing it coming in from one of their colleagues, effectively. So it is not new money into primary care overall. I think GPs are fatalistic, realising that this is a very cash-strapped economy.’

The SFE for the new contract, published by NHS Employers, also sets the value of a QOF point at £160.15. This is up 2% from last year’s value of £156.92, which reflects the increase in the average list size via the so-called Contractor Population Index (CPI), meaning it will be financially neutral for practices.

Last year, the GPC failed to negotiate a related rise to the value of a QOF point for the current financial year, meaning some practices were facing losses of thousands. Subsequently, the GPC negotiated that the value of a QOF point should be adjusted year on year.

Dr Vautrey added: ‘There are no surprises in that it is fully in line with what we’ve negotiated.’

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