Following on from our article on ‘What the PMS funding changes mean for your practice‘, official NHS data has revealed that the funding gap between GMS and PMS practices has fallen by nearly 40% in 2015/16 as PMS reviews cut funding from locally negotiated contracts.
Data from NHS Digital has revealed that GP practices across all contract types saw an increase of £1.53 per patient from £141.09 in 2014/15, resulting in an average of £142.62 per patient in 2015/16.
Furthermore, GMS practices saw an average funding per patient at £140.13, PMS practices funding per patient was £144.32 and APMS practices at £184.10.
The funding gap between GMS and PMS practices has seen a 38% decrease to £4.19 in 2015/16. This is down from 2014/15 when PMS practices received £6.79 more on average per patient than GMS.
Funding cuts to PMS practices has reflected the drive across England to equalise the funding across the two contract streams through waves of PMS reviews.
A significant number of GP practices, as expected, have been converting from PMS contracts to GMS contracts. A reduction in practice numbers suggests that approximately 125 practices have either closed or merged, according to data released by NHS Digital.
The data also released figures that showed the number of PMS practices fell from 3,190 in 2014/15 to 2,653 in 2015/16, while GMS practices contracts increased in 2015/16 to 4,892, up from 4,480 the previous year.
Scott Sanderson, GP specialist at Hawsons, had this to say: “The funding gap between GMS and PMS contracts, it would appear, has long been on the governments agenda to equalise equitable funding across general practice, and the statistics released by NHS Digital will not come as a surprise to partners or practice managers in the sector. Nevertheless, these funding changes will no doubt have significant impact on the financial stability of many current or former PMS practices.”