How the new GMS pay uplift was wiped out for GPs...
26 September 2014, GP Online
GPC member and Wessex LMCs chief executive Dr Nigel Watson says: 'The government was surprised when GP income rose more than it thought it would - GPs did better on QOF than expected. It has spent the past few years chipping away at that.'
Now, he says, the cuts have gone too far. 'It hasn't recognised workload has increased - we have rising workload and falling income. Why would new GP partners come into an environment like that?'
Dr Watson says rising expenses are compounding GPs' funding problems.
'The problem for GPs is threefold - falling income, rising workload and rising expenditure,' he says. 'Everybody is offloading their costs on to general practice - CQC fees, medical defence insurance is going up.
General expenses, heating and lighting, wages are going up - expenses are not standing still.'
Dr Watson says the different changes in income across the UK reflect the fact GPs now operate under 'four different contracts', and GPs in Scotland had benefited from 'productive discussions' with the Scottish government.
Dr Watson adds that he was not surprised to learn that GPs in south-west England earn less than anyone else in the country.Variation in the past between GPs in different PCT areas was very wide, he says.
'We have been arguing for some time that our health economy is less well funded per patient than in other parts.'
Alarmingly, he warns that plans to phase out MPIG and PMS 'premium' funding are unlikely to reduce the gaps between practices. 'The figures can be diced and sliced in different ways,' he says.
Whether or not equity is moving any closer, income is on the slide for most practices and GPs are running out of ways to economise.
'For those who have stabilised it, they don't think they can work any harder,' says Dr Watson.
To read the full article click here: How the new GMS pay uplift was wiped out for GPs