A detailed analysis of the 2018/19 GMS contract has led accountants to predict that practices in England with static list sizes are likely to see a lower increase in funds than the 3.4% announced by NHS Employers on 20 March.
Luke Bennett, a director of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants, said: “0.8% of the investment is to allow for the predicted increase in the population. Therefore, a practice with a static list size might reasonably expect an increase of not 3.4%, but 2.6%.”
Mr Bennett, a partner at accountancy firm PKF Francis Clark, said that funding increases will depend on practices’ individual characteristics and sources of income since different increases will be applied to different income streams.
He added: “Practices will have to fund increases in expenses out of the increased income. Significantly, the NHS pay deal agreed by union leaders and ministers on 21 March is likely to lead to increases in staff salaries, particularly at the lower end of the pay scales.”
“While most practices are not contractually bound by the Agenda for Change pay rates, they are in many cases competing with secondary care to attract staff.”
Mr Bennett added: “All practices will see some sort of increase in funding and this is to be welcomed as a measure to help maintain financial stability for struggling practices. There may be a further uplift in funding once the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body has reported in May. It is hoped that the difficulties in recruiting and retaining GPs will be recognised in the DDRB report.”
Notes for editors
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