The Department of Health has today announced a further investment of £3.9m in General Practice, with £1.7m to address changes in demography and £2.2m to uplift the GP contract by 1%.
The Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health, Richard Pengelly said: “The Department recognises that primary care and GP services are the bedrock of our health and social care system. This investment of a further £3.9m, follows earlier investment this year of £1.9m for elective care and £3.91m to continue the rollout of nearly 300 Practice Based Pharmacists.”
Mr Pengelly said: “Given the current difficult financial position, investing nearly £10m more in GP services, the largest additional investment in recent years, reflects the Department’s commitment to the continued development of sustainable and accessible primary care services centred on the needs of patients.”
Mr Pengelly added: “The Department is also introducing changes to the eligibility to the sickness leave scheme for GPs. It is estimated that these changes will save GPs more than £2.5m per year in sickness leave insurance premiums.”
Notes to editors:
1. A 1% uplift to GP earnings (net of expenses) was recommended earlier this year by the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration. The £26million allocated to the Department on 28 November, allows the Department of Health to implement the 1% uplift through the General Medical Services (GMS) contract.
2. The GMS contract provides for payments to cover locum costs when GPs are on sick leave, in certain specified circumstances. The eligibility arrangements for the scheme have been simplified and the maximum level of payment increased to better reflect current costs to GPs.
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