The Institute of General Practice Management (IGPM) has said the Government’s initial offer of a 1.9% uplift to GMS baseline funding for 2024/25, is a ‘show of contempt for general practice’.
The offer, worth £178m, is being voted on today by the BMA’s GP Committee (GPC), our sister title Pulse revealed earlier.
The IGPM has warned that should the Government persist with this figure ‘it is not only likely, but inevitable’ that the number of practice closures will ‘exponentially increase’ because they will no be longer financially viable.
‘Without proper funding practices will be forced to cut staff, freeze recruitment and potentially even hand back their contracts’ its statement signed by directors Kay Keane, Robyn Clark, Nicola Davies, Jo Wadey and Mike Neville said.
This would leave ‘whole communities without access to healthcare’.
The organisation said the upcoming contract had been seen as ‘a glimmer of hope for many practices’ –it’s the first one after the end of the current five-year framework, the strain of which has been felt deeply.
And it accused the Government of blatantly ignoring all the statistics and facts given to them by the GPC to consider during the negotiations. These included:
- BMA survey results showing that partnership income has reduced by an average 20%,
- energy bills continuing to rise
- and the National Living Wage increasing by 9.8%, putting pressure on wage bills.
In addition, other parts of the health service have received funding uplifts of 6% to cover inflationary costs.
The IGPM also pointed to NHS Confederation research that shows an association between NHS spending increases and increased economic activity, particularity with regards to primary care. It said it was ‘perplexed ’ that investment factors such as this had also been ignored.
It has now urged the Government to backtrack on its offer, challenging ministers on whether they ‘really want to be responsible for the destruction of the NHS?’
Meanwhile, Pulse said yesterday that GP Committee England chair Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer had written to primary care minister Andrea Leadsom to ask her to intervene in the negotiation having described the current offer as ‘grossly inadequate’.