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The ‘funding uplift’ is another nail in the coffin for my practice

I wonder what the Government meant when they said the uplift will compensate for increase in CQC fees. Although the GPC hailed it as a real uplift at last, at my practice, it doesn’t cover any increase in costs. The deficit has only deepened.

My practice, Marlowe Park Medical Centre in Rochester, has this year faced an increase in CQC fees of £1,600 and indemnity payments have increased £8,600 per year over the last two years. This means that despite the 2016/17 contract’s ‘funding uplift’ increasing payments to £80.5 per patient, we ended up with a monthly increase in global sum of only £114.51 from 1 April 2016 for a list size of 3,992 – a paltry 0.05% increase.

Marlowe Park has an overall good CQC rating but has had the lowest payments per patient in the Rochester and Strood locality for the last two years running at £91 and £96.12 per patient. It caters to the highest percentage of patients with learning disabilities in Medway, and more than 10% of our patients are on the depression register, mostly young people. The practice is in a deprived area and has a deprived population but statistically it is not a deprived area for payment purposes. Attempts to get a partner have failed as the last candidate vanished without a word when given a copy of the latest practice’s tax return.

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The Government’s reluctance to do away with the Carr-Hill formula is astonishing. The disastrous effect of this lies starkly exposed as a reduction in patient list size by 117 resulted in a drop in weighted list for payment purposes by 207 patients. This defies all logic as the number of patients above 75 fell only by four.

Our average GP earnings are £32k and this after me working almost seven days a week with no vacations for two years.

The lack of a ‘funding uplift’ is the final nail in the coffin and we have now escalated the matter through NHSE to HSCIC and hope a solution will give us a reason and support to avoid having to sell the premises and terminate the contract.