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Correction: the less you offer the more you gain

If you introduce a correction factor into funding arrangements, there must be an implicit assumption that something needs correcting. To most people's mind, you would only remove the correction factor if the underlying problem was resolved. Right? Wrong.

When the 2004 GMS contract was introduced, I had just one client who had no minimum practice income guarantee (MPIG) correction factor. Because they were offering such a limited range of services, there was nothing to protect, the practices which received the highest correction factor were the ones offering the widest range of services or serving the most deprived areas. So there is a great levelling off, but it is all downwards, towards the lowest common denominator.

It is hardly surprising that if you cut general practice income, remove resources and bad-mouth GPs in the press you are going to have a recruitment crisis.

Never mind, I learned one brilliantly uplifting piece of news from looking at a client's accounts this week. Thank goodness for edicts from the CQC! The £46,500 the practice had to spend changing its sinks and taps is a reassuring reminder that efficiencies in primary care are meticulously and thoughtfully managed.

  • Laurence Slavin is a partner with Ramsay Brown and Partners Chartered Accountants who specialise in the finances of GPs. 

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