A healthcare consultancy firm is charging groups of networks £2,500 for primary care network services.
LMC Law is offering a one-off fixed package for up to 10 networks working together at a cost of £2,500 for services such as training sessions on network practical issues.
The firm, a legal healthcare organisation that works with more than 40 LMCs, said it was also offering free advice in areas where the LMCs have agreed to provide support, such as in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire where the LMC and law firm have a retainer agreement.
Pulse previously reported that BMA Law, the BMA’s not-for-profit legal service provider, was offering two packages that practices could buy for 10p per patient – working out at £5,000 for the bigger networks – for a bespoke package, or localities can purchase pro-forma advice for £10,000 for all networks in a region.
This caused controversy among LMC leaders who argued that the BMA’s offer was ‘not fair’, as practices have to cough up the funding to join the new networks when these were negotiated by the BMA itself.
As part of a new five-year GP contract, practices joining a primary care network will receive £1.76 per weighted patient – an average uplift of £14,000.
But GPs expressed concerns that the deadline was too tight, with practices having a few months to submit their network registration, while accountants warned about issues around tax and network agreements that require legal advice.
Originally LMC Law said it would offer packages for £5,000, however the firm has since revised this figure.
In its latest bulletin, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire LMC said it has partnered with LMC Law to offer free advice on networks following a retainer agreement reached with Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. The bulletin also said the firm was ‘happy to offer a one-off fixed package to PCNs’ for £5,000 plus VAT for up to five networks working together.
But LMC Law told Pulse today the offer had been revised down, and it was now charging £2,500 plus VAT for up to 10 networks to receive training.
An LMC Law spokesperson said: ‘We now offer a package which is £2,500 plus VAT for up to 10 PCNs. This package includes up-to-date training on all practical issues that PCNs need to be aware of. In some areas, we have also issued schedules 2-7 of the network agreement at no cost to PCNs because of support received from the LMC.’
‘It has never been LMC Law’s intention to make any profit with regard to schedule development, merely to cover costs. We will also be launching further programs and training in the future in order to ensure the sustainability of general practice, while working very closely with our LMC clients to ensure this is achieved.’
According to NHS England’s network agreement document, schedules 2 to 7 include elements such as basic information on the networks’ structure and access requirements.