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GPs paid £13 per patient under pilot to abolish practice boundaries

GPs will be paid £13 per patient for those who visit them on a ‘day' basis, as part of a pilot scheme to allow patients to register with practices away from home.

The pilot scheme, due to begin on 30 April, will allow patients to visit participating practices for a one-off consultation while still holding their registration at their home practice.

The pilot scheme will run across six PCT areas - Nottingham, Westminster, Tower Hamlets, Manchester, Salford and City and Hackney - and it will be voluntary for practices to take part.

The pilot will last for one year, when discussions will be held with the GPC on its future.

Guidance issued by the Department of Health today says practices in the scheme would receive the £12.93 payment up to a maximum of five times per patient per year.

Nottinghamshire LMC secretary Chris Locke said: ‘What about the sixth time this person comes along for an appointment? Will the practice just be told ‘tough, you won't get paid'?'

Practices in areas outside the pilot schemes will also be affected, with the guidance instructing PCTs that arrangements must be made for home visits for patients who live a long distance from their registered practice.

The guidance suggests this could be arranged as part of a local enhanced service, or by extending out-of-hours provision.