All of us use NHS services in some shape or form, including visiting our local GP when we feel unwell. But have you ever wondered how GP practices are funded or how a GP surgery works?
Many patients fail to understand that GP surgeries are run like a business and rely heavily on funding to provide a high standard of care to a set number of patients. This is one of the reasons why cancelling GP appointments or not turning up to a GP appointment can have a huge impact on GP’s budget and the services they are able to offer.
How are GP practices funded in England?
Throughout England, GP surgeries receive on average, £152. 04 per person, with England’s 7,543 general practices sharing £9,050,006 million. And this is to deliver care for approximately 59,527,981. These figures are based on data released in the 2017/2018 financial year.
The NHS offers three different types of contracts for GP practices, which impact the services they are able to offer. These may include General Medical Services, Personal Medical Services and Alternative Provider Medical Services.
The amount allocated to each GP practice depends on the type of contract provided.
How are GP practices funded in Scotland?
The way GP practices are funded in Scotland is different to England, following a vote for a new GP contract in Scotland that has changed the way Scottish GP practices are funded.
Set out in two phases, the changes outlined have also had an impact on GP pay structures. Phase one took place in April 2018 when the GP Workload Formula was introduced. The new formula has been designed to re-estimate the number of consultations per patient based on age, sex and deprivation. It has relieved the pressure on the workload of GPs in Scotland as it provides a more accurate reflection of patient inflow and demand.
Phase two is set to be introduced in 2020/2021 and although it is still subject to further negotiations between the Scottish government and GPC Scotland, the plans will aim to introduce a standard income range for GPs with a set pay progression. The main purpose of this change will be to remove the link between the new formula and practice funding.
All GP practices will still be required to submit annual data on earnings, expenses and hours worked to NHS National Services Scotland Practitioner Services.
Why do GP practices need GP surgery finance?
There are many reasons why medical professionals might require GP practice finance, including:
- If a partner is leaving and the remaining partners need to buy them out
- If the partnership is increasing and a loan is required to be split between the existing partners in order to dilute their shares
- If practice improvements or extensions are required
- If a new practice is being set up
At Stewart Hindley, we understand that the right investment is crucial when it comes to providing primary healthcare. Whether you’re looking for funding for an NHS GP practice or a private surgery, we’ve got the skills and specialist experience to help you secure commercial finance for your GP surgery. To find out more, get in touch.