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Backdated extra Global Sum money should be paid to practices this October, says BMA

by Rima Evans
4 October 2023

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The increase in the Global Sum agreed for funding practice staff and salaried GP pay rises should be paid to surgeries from this month, the BMA has said.

And October will see seven months’ worth of extra money coming in to practices since payments are being backdated to April, it added.

A deal struck between the BMA GP Committee England (GPCE), NHS England, and the Department of Health and Social Care last week sees a rise to the Global Sum from £102.28 to £104.73 per patient to fund the 6% staff pay rises promised by the Government.

The extra money is worth a total of £233.14 million for 2023/24, the GPCE has said in a letter sent to LMCs and practices earlier this week.

It explained that the uplift applies only to the portion of the GP contract used to cover staff expenses. This currently represents 44% of the Global Sum.

This pot was increased in April 2023 by 2.1% (as set out under the five-year GP contract), providing an £80.21m. However, as a result of recent negotiations the staff expenses element now benefits from an additional 3.9% uplift, representing an extra £152.93m, the GPCE explained.

Combining the two rises equates to a total 6% increase to the staff expenses portion of the Global Sum – notionally enough to cover the 6% pay rise promised to GP staff by Government.

Overall, it translates into a hike of 5% to the entire Global Sum, compared with the previous year.

The GCPE letter stated that the extra money ‘will be backdated to April 2023, and a seven-month payment should be made in October 2023 (April – October inclusive)’.

‘This uplift is now embedded for future years,’ it added.

‘This supplementary uplift is being paid via the Global Sum and is not, therefore, tailored to the individual staff expenses of each practice. These will be dependent on their own staffing structures.’

And it went on to say: ‘Colleagues should note this is separate to the Agenda for Change (AfC) 5% uplift, which has already been agreed and has been incorporated into the average Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) funding for those staff roles resourced under the ARRS Scheme in 2023/24′.

The letter signed by Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer, Chair, GPCE, Dr Mark Steggles, Chair, Sessional GPs Committee and Dr Julius Parker, Deputy Chair, GPCE concludes that: ’It is…the first time in recent memory that a proposed staff pay uplift has been directly linked to Pay Body recommendations, which GPCE believe signals a recognition of both the cost pressures on practices, and also the key value of rewarding all members of the practice team for their hard work in maintaining high-quality patient care as patient demand and workload continue to rise.’

GP partners are bound by the five-year contract and are excluded from the salary uplift.