GP premises development frozen, GPs forced to publish pay from 2015: What about comparing overhead?

Marina Soteriou, 19th November 2013 reports in GPonline “GP premises development frozen”

No new GP practice premises improvements will be funded before April 2014 and a freeze on development may continue beyond that time, GP leaders have warned.

Neil Roberts, 15th November 2013 reports in GPonline “GP contract 2014/15: GPs forced to publish pay from 2015”

GPs in England will have to publish details of their NHS income by 2015 under a deal agreed in this year’s GMS contract talks.

In times of austerity capital investments have always been threatened. If the idea is to make primary care take over more and more of the hospital activities, such as ultrasounds, then investment will have to come some time..

It seems reasonable to publish a calculation of GPs profits after expenses have been deducted from income, and before distribution to the partners. What will be important is to define exactly how these accounts should be presented, so that comparisons are meaningful. Ratios of the cost of non-clinical overhead to the cost of all staff might be a useful start. Aneurin Bevan boasted of 3% overhead for the whole NHS in 1952 when he published “In place of fear”, and I expect GP premises figures are still of that order. Hospitals on the other hand are hiding their non-clinical overhead – I cannot get replies! I suspect of the order of 35%!

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About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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