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Delay to changing the GP funding formula means continued instability for practices

You may remember from recent blogs that I have been banging on about releasing the pendulum that has swung so far against the interests of GPs that things could really only get better. But, last week there was a step backwards.

In a joint statement by NHS England and BMA, it was confirmed that a new funding formula would be delayed until at least 1 April 2018, and the reason? 'We want to achieve this in a way that does not threaten stability and in a way that does not cause financial uncertainty for practices.'

Laudable comments really, but what is missing is the context.

While this process is delayed, what continues is the removal of the correction factor (the MPIG) for GMS practices, and the continuing PMS reviews (especially across London).

These are affecting stability and creating financial uncertainty, and the new funding formula is supposed to be part of the solution.

It is also worth mentioning that this issue was first identified in 2004 – so after 12 years is it reasonable for there to be further delays? I guess at this rate the UK will be invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty in 2028.

If the new funding formula is to be delayed, so should the implementation of phasing out of the correction factor and the PMS reviews – isn’t that just common sense?

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