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GP mediocrity will be result of PMS cuts

The NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) announced this week that PMS practices will be brought to the same level of funding as GMS practices over the same seven-year period that the MPIG is being phased out for GMS practices, starting in April 2014

The NHSCB advises that this is an opportunity for practices to decide whether they want to revert to GMS. An opportunity?  I don’t think so. GMS practices earn less than PMS practices. The hard facts, based on a sample of 780 GPs with a March 2012 year end are that  PMS practices earns £121.25 per patient with a baseline element of £92.34 per patient compared with GMS practices earning £102.72 per patient  with a global sum element of £70.04.

If both PMS and GMS are being pulled down to the same funding level over seven years, the effect for PMS practices will be far more significant. They have the extra resources because they provide extra services, and these services are going to he cut.

Perhaps seven years is a reasonable period to make these changes, but let’s not play with passive aggressive semantics. This is not an opportunity, it is an about–face from the attempts in the mid 2000s to reward the better practices to treating all GPs the same. The result, which surely we all know is mediocrity.

And the irony here? Some practices will probably continue to provide the services that they think the patients need out of their limited resources – and pay for it out of their own pockets while others will cut the service and be better off.

It makes you want to weep……………..

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