Ministers have confirmed changes to the GMS contract, which come into effect from 1 April 2013. These follow a consultation with key stakeholders between 6 December 2012 and 26 February 2013 and are largely unchanged from proposals set out by the DH earlier this year.
The overall increase for GMS contracts will be 1.32 per cent in 2013/14, rather than the 2.29 per cent recommended by the Doctors and Dentists Review Body. This allows for a 1 per cent pay rise for practice staff, in line with the 1 per cent announced for public sector staff.
PMS practices will receive a 1.32 per cent funding rise for 2013/14, mirroring the increase for GMS practices.
The BMA GP's Committee warns this represents a real-terms cut, being below the rate of inflation, and may lead to a GP exodus and staff redundancies. Chairman Dr Laurence Buckman reported that a BMA survey that drew nearly 8,000 responses demonstrated the impact of the contract changes would result in GPs considering reducing patient access and staffing hours.
Under the amended GMS contract, Minimum Practice Income Guarantee (MPIG) top-ups to core funding will be phased out over seven years from 2014. This funding will be redistributed through practices' global sum payments.