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Carr-Hill change branded a “huge success” by Tower Hamlets practice manager

18 December 2015

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The update of the ‘Carr Hill’ core funding formula was announced yesterday, which was a victory for Tower Hamlets clinical commissioning group who campaigned and consulted on the change.

Virginia Patania, the practice manager of the award-winning Jubilee Street Practice in Tower Hamlets said: “The inclusion of deprivation is a huge success for our most vulnerable patients. Less than two years ago, this would have been an unthinkable success.”

In April 2014, the practice announced it was set to shut down within 18 months as it faced the gradual loss of nearly £1 million, due to the withdrawal of the Minimum Practice Income Guarantee (MPIG).

Since then, the CCG has been campaigning for fairer funding for deprived areas, and have been advising on the formula, aiming for it to take greater account of deprivation.

The Carr-Hill formula distributes the core funding – the global sum – to general practices for essential and some additional services. The payments are intended to be made according to the needs of a practice’s patients and the cost of providing primary care services.

NHS England announced yesterday: “The primary medical care allocation formula is updated to account for changes in GP workload since the original ‘Carr Hill’ methodology was developed over a decade ago.”

Next, practice managers need to look at whether any money will trickle down for IMDs, depending on what the weighting is, she advised, since they are general budgets rather than practice capitation budgets.

“Hopefully this will afford CCGs in full co-commissioning mode real opportunities for better meeting the needs of their deprived populations. This will need to translate into greater resource for those practices who directly deal with the most deprived people in our society, but it’s a really important step in the right direction.”

While it is not necessarily implied that some practices will lose for others to gain, there is definite disparity in resources, the manager added, and in London there is a 31% gap in funding for deprived and non-deprived areas, she continued.

She said the increase is “not an insult, but a welcome contribution when you think about efficiencies too… The 4% will give us head space, but it’s not enough money for us to keep working as we are” and it is “not alone enough for seven day services.”