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Health Centres: Finance

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the estimated annual GP-led average payment per registered patient will be in health centres. (220024)

This is a local contractual matter for each primary care trust (PCT). However, we have advised PCTs to set a local equitable price per patient per year of care (i.e. a fair and equitable weighted capitation payment per patient); or to obtain a cost per registered patient through the procurement process. Where PCTs choose to set a local price, the payment mechanism should be calculated on a weighted capitation basis i.e. based on the expected age/sex/deprivation and demographics of the population to be covered. Where PCTs decide to ask bidders to bid on a price per registered patient, per year basis, a comparison should be made with the price per patient for existing practices with similar patient demographic characteristics.

In considering pricing, PCTs will also need to take into consideration the additional opening hours new health centre providers will need to deliver, any locally enhanced services being contracted for, or additional clinical or qualitative requirements being sought against which providers contracts will be performance management against.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much (a) resource and (b) capital funding has been allocated to each primary care trust to build a new GP-led health centre. (221008)

A £250 million access revenue fund was secured for the NHS through the Comprehensive Spending Review process to support the delivery of GP-led health centres in every primary care trust (PCT) and 100 new GP practices in the most poorly served PCTs. Collectively, £120 million of this is for health centres and will be included in PCT allocations using a weighted capitation formula to determine each PCTs target share of available resources. All revenue funding allocated to PCTs will be on the basis of continuing to meet recurrent expenditure.

No capital funding has been allocated specifically for the GP led health centres. Where capital investment is required to support the development of new GP facilities, they can use the funds available to them for local capital investment priorities. The Operating Framework for the NHS in England in 2008-09 stated that £400 million, £480 million and £565 million of would be available to fund the local investment priorities of the PCT sector, respectively, in this and the next two years. After careful consideration of local investment plans, to ensure the maximum possible investment in this sector, the budget for 2008-09 was increased to £500 million.

New health centre buildings may also be procured under NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust. There are currently 48 NHS LIFT schemes covering half of the country.