PMS Contract

Personal Medical Services (PMS) contracts are agreed between NHS England and GP practices, together with funding arrangements. In England, approximately 40 per cent of GP practices are on PMS contracts.

The latest ‘Focus On’ guidance document , published by the BMA in May 2016, looks at the PMS reviews and transition to GMS.

A recent national review of PMS contracts by NHS England found that PMS practices receive £325m in funding over and above GMS core pay.

Once the redistribution of MPIG top-ups to core pay – which started from April 2014 – is complete, this funding ‘premium’ received by PMS practices will drop to £235m.

Area teams have been told that they must move to a position where all practices ‘receive the same core funding for providing the core services expected of all GP practices’.

PMS Equitable Funding and Reviews

NHS England has published guidance and an accompanying presentation for its local area teams on equitable funding arrangements and reviews for PMS practices.

£325m of “premium” PMS expenditure has been identified by NHS England as the amount by which PMS expenditure exceeds the equivalent GMS expenditure. While this figure will be reduced as GMS correction factor funding is phased out and global sum funding increases it is not clear how soon Area Teams will be expected to begin clawing back this premium from practices.

Area teams will have two years from April 2014 to review their local PMS contracts, with the pace of change on the clawback and redeployment of funding following the reviews being left to local judgement. There is no requirement for Area Teams to mirror the timescale for GMS correction factor reduction. They may choose to reduce PMS practices’ funding more quickly as they will be entitled to invest the premium funding in GP services according to criteria set by NHS England, which are that the investment should:

  • reflect joint AT/CCG strategic plans for primary care
  • secure services or outcomes that go beyond what is expected of core general practice or improve primary care premises
  • help reduce health inequalities
  • give equality of opportunity to all GP practices
  • support fairer distribution of funding at a locality level

Focus on PMS Reviews and transition to GMS

The BMA has produced further guidance (June 2015) on the PMS Review process and factors to consider when looking to move from PMS to a GMS contract with the GPC strongly recommending a return to GMS. The LMC is aware that one of the biggest risks with such a move, unless mitigated, is the loss of the premium instantly upon moving to GMS which in some cases represents a significant loss of income. We encourage you to read the guidance and inform the LMC of any questions you may have and support needed.