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GP contract deal comes with 3.3% overall uplift to funding

The overall GP contract uplift has been calculated as 3.3% year-on-year, with global sum increasing by almost 6%.

NHS England said that the 3.3% represents the overall investment of an extra £238.7m, through various streams including reimbursements for indemnity inflation and CQC fees.

Meanwhile, the global sum for 2017/18 will see a 5.9% increase, or £4.76, to give an average global sum figure per patient of £85.35.

This includes the £156.7m put directly back into the global sum as a result of scrapping the Avoiding unplanned admissions DES.

The GPC has said this should translate to a 1% pay uplift for individual GPs.

The overall uplift is marginally larger than last year, when GPs saw a 3.2% additional investment into the contract.

The global sum will rise by the exact same proportion as last year when average global sum rose 5.9% to £80.59 per patient.

The GPC overwhelmingly welcomed the GP contract deal negotiated this year, which binned paperwork and moved funding into the core contract.

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul especially hailed the scrapping of the unplanned admissions DES and introduction of non-discretionary sickness payment as significant improvements, and claimed this year’s contract comes with ‘no additional clinical workload’.

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Bob Senior, chairman of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants and head of medical services at accountants RSM, said: ’We’re pleased to see that extra money has gone into the 2017/18 contract and there are some good things in there such as guaranteed sickness payment to cover staff absences.

‘Reimbursement of CQC fees will be welcome although practices will presumably need to prise the money out of Capita which may not be as easy as it sounds.’

But Mr Senior was cautious about the likelihood of GPs actually seeing the promised 1% pay uplift.

He said: ’Higher inflation and increased staff costs are putting many practices under pressure. Many are needing to employ more staff or having to pay their staff for more hours worked to cope with the workload.Locums costs continue to be an issue for many practices.

’While a 1% uplift may help ease these problems it remains to be seen if any extra income actually finds its way through to partners drawings.’

Meanwhile, commenting on the contract deal in today’s monthly board meeting, NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens said it was ‘pleasing’ that the contract deal ‘has been welcomed by GPs as well as by patients groups’.

He said:  ‘I think this deals with a number of the legitimate pressures and concerns that GPs had while also ensuring that some of our wider objectives are met including ensuring that practices are incentivised not to shut for half days on a weekly basis – the small proportion of practices that do that.

‘But we recognise that this is just one piece of a much bigger jigsaw of improvement that’s needed in primary care.’