The GMS Contract, last negotiated in 2004 on a national basis, contains a number of components. The basic element is the core funding based on each practice’s list size, suitable weighted for age and deprivation to reflect the different health needs and resource requirements of different groups.
It is divided into two main parts regarding the services provided by GMS practices:
- ‘Essential Services’ – which must be provided by all practices.
- ‘Additional Services’ – for which practices do have the option to opt out of providing these services with a commensurate drop in their income. These services include, for example, contraception, childhood vaccinations and child health surveillance, cervical screening and a number of other services.
- Quality & Outcomes Framework – in theory voluntary but involving significant extra payments for offering arrange of structured surveillance, monitoring and treatment of chronic health conditions.
- Enhanced Services – a range of services outside core requirements, often for services previously provided in a hospital setting.
Certain areas of the GMS contract and the funding of the contract are re-negotiated annually.
The PMS contract is more complex as it varies from area to area depending on the specific health needs that the PMS contract sought to address. In recent years there have been moves to equalise funding (both GMS and PMS) and we support these moves. Our view is that contracts should be fair and equitable. Where a practice is commissioned, and agrees, to undertake work that is over and above core work then they should be remunerated accordingly.
We are happy to provide support to practices in this interim period. We are also happy to support levy paying practices that hold APMS (Alternative Primary Medical Services) contracts.