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GPs urged to support contract changes

22 March 2013

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The government has urged GPs to support changes to the contract which would see Minimum Practice Income Guarantee (MPIG) phased out.

Over seven years, MPIG, which supports low income GP practices, will be removed with the resulting savings used to increase global sum payments for practices.

The Department of Health has (DH) claimed this will stop some GP practices “receiving thousands of pounds more than others that care for a similar number of patients with similar patient needs”.

GP leaders have claimed this will undermine deliver of patient services.

“Ministers have completely failed to take on board the concerns of thousands of GPs about the cumulative effect of these proposals on general practice,” said Dr Laurence Buckman, chair of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) GP committee.

He claims that practices will now face “numerous new targets” that will divert clinical time and resources towards “box ticking and administrative work”.

Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) payments will be discontinued, releasing £64 million which will be used to help fund four new enhanced services, which will cover:

– A more proactive approach for identifying dementia.

– Improving care management for seriously ill patients, or those at risk from unplanned hospital admissions.

– Ensuring patients can book appointments and order repeat prescriptions online.

– Establishing arrangements to help monitor the health of people with long term conditions without the need to attend the practice.

According to DH, this will mean practices can provide better services for patients to maintain the practice income they previously received for demonstrating organisational best practice.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “We have listened to GPs and stakeholders and made some changes to our proposals to reflect these views and now we feel we are in the right place to go forward.

“I am committed to ensuring that we improve quality of life for people with long term conditions – and I want GPs to lead this change from within their own practices.”