General medical services is the name used to describe the medical services
provided by General Practitioners (GPs or family doctors) who, in effect, run
private businesses independently contracting with the government.
The contract under which they work is known as the General Medical Services
Every practice gets a share of a total amount of money allocated towards primary
care in GMS practices (the "Global Sum").
This share is determined by the practice's list size, adjusted for age and sex
of the patients (children, women and the elderly have higher weights than young
men because they cause a greater workload).
Furthermore, the practice gets an adjustment for rurality (greater rurality
causes greater expenses), for the cost of employing staff (the "Market Forces
Factor" (MFF), which captures differences in pay rates between areas.