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Global sum to be increased again in October in unprecedented move

Exclusive Basic practice funding will increase in October to reflect the phasing out of seniority pay, the GPC has revealed, although it is not known by how much.

The Government announced earlier in the week that the global sum will increase by 3% for 2015/16 to £75.77 per patient, but it has since emerged that this amount will increase further once more information is available around seniority payments.

The GPC has said that the payments will be backdated, but added it will make ‘not that much’ difference.

This is the first time that there is an increase in the global sum midway through the year, and the GPC has said it is unlikely to happen again.

The GPC and the Government agreed to a phase out of seniority payments under the 2014/15 contract deal, with a view to their abolition in 2020.

The payments, which are worth an extra £8,000 per year for senior GPs, are continuing for those that were entitled to them on 31 March 2014, but there will be no new entrants to the scheme.

Under the 2014/15 agreement, there will be a 15% reduction in spend each year on the seniority scheme and any money released will be reinvested in core funding.

But this year there has been a delay this year in calculating how many people have left the seniority payment scheme due to retirement, which will determine the amount that is to be recycled into the global sum.

GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘In October there will be an adjustment for seniority transfer. We don’t know at this stage how much will be freed up by GPs retiring and leaving the seniority scheme.

‘Once we know that then a calculation can be done to make up the difference to meet the 15% target for the year. October is the earliest this can be done by. I don’t know at this stage how much difference it will make, but not that much.’

However the delay to October is a one-off incident, the GPC has said, because they will have the information earlier on next year and can implement the changes in real time.