Final pay controls: Good news for many GP practices

28 October 2021

Our medical practices specialist, James Gransby, analyses the impact of the Social Care Levy for GP practices.

The final pay control (FPC) rules that saw some GP practices landed with large bills –six-figure sums weren’t unheard of – have now been relaxed. It’s a welcome move that will reduce the impact of this legislation in future, and unwind previous unfair charges in many cases.

I drafted the consultation response on behalf of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA), so have been taking a keen interest in the outcome of these changes. It was pleasing to see that one of the suggestions for further relaxation that the AISMA Board put forward was acted on, so in some cases we’ll see Practice Manager partners further exempted.

More than 20 per cent of practices have been landed with an FPC charge, many with substantial sums being owed (over six figures). These practices now have a six-month window of opportunity to get these figures revised downwards, or eradicated altogether: 

  • if the charge was levied since 1 April 2018; and 
  • if they can benefit from the new rules.

The consultation proposed amendments to the 1995 Regulations to:

  • increase the allowable amount from Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 4.5 per cent to CPI plus 7 per cent; and
  • include further exemptions to the final pay control regulations.

Both aspects were passed. The further exemptions may see a large number reduce their charges down to nothing.

The legislation is complex, and so are the changes, and for brevity’s sake I will simply say that the 20 per cent of GP practices who have been paying one of these charges should now take advice as to whether they can retrospectively benefit from these changes.

For advice on final pay controls, or to appeal any previous charges in light of these changes, please contact James Gransby, our medical practices specialist.