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Carr-Hill change branded a “huge success” by Tower Hamlets practice manager


18 December 2015

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The update of the ‘Carr Hill’ core funding formula was announced yesterday by NHS England, and was a victory for Tower Hamlets clinical commissioning group (CCG) who campaigned and consulted on the change.

Virginia Patania, the CCG practice manager representive in Tower Hamlets, east London, said: “The inclusion of deprivation is a huge success for our most vulnerable patients. Less than two years ago, this would have been an unthinkable success.”

The update of the ‘Carr Hill’ core funding formula was announced yesterday by NHS England, and was a victory for Tower Hamlets clinical commissioning group (CCG) who campaigned and consulted on the change.

Virginia Patania, the CCG practice manager representive in Tower Hamlets, east London, said: “The inclusion of deprivation is a huge success for our most vulnerable patients. Less than two years ago, this would have been an unthinkable success.”

In April 2014, the now award-winning practice announced it was set to shut down within 18 months as it faced the gradual loss of nearly £1 million, due to the withdrawal of the Minimum Practice Income Guarantee (MPIG). Since then, the CCG has been campaigning for fairer funding for deprived areas, and have been advising on the formula, aiming for it to take greater account of deprivation.

Patania urged CCGs to now focus on emergency services driven by primary care, and think on a wider macro level.

The Carr-Hill formula distributes the core funding – the global sum – to general practices for essential and some additional services. The payments are intended to be made according to the needs of a practice's patients and the cost of providing primary care services.

NHS England announced yesterday: “The primary medical care allocation formula is updated to account for changes in GP workload since the original ‘Carr Hill’ methodology was developed over a decade ago.”

She is hoping that “this will afford CCGs in full co-commissioning mode real opportunities for better meeting the needs of their deprived populations. This will need to translate into greater resource for those practices who directly deal with the most deprived people in our society, but it’s a really important step in the right direction.”

CCGs are currently awaiting the envelopes with the actual allocations, which should be arriving imminently.

She said the increase is “not an insult, but a welcome contribution when you think about efficiencies too… The 4% will give us head space, but it’s not enough money for us to keep working as we are” and it is “not alone enough for seven day services.”

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