£105 million DES cash freed but correction factors cut

Correction factor cuts proposed by the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB) this year are almost certain to go ahead, the GPC has admitted.

GP leaders said they had successfully argued the cuts were illegal, but the DoH had begun a 12-week consultation to enable it to force the change through.

The move means that the 2.7 per cent global sum uplift proposed by the DDRB will be absorbed by an equivalent cut to correction factors for the 90 per cent of practices that rely on the pay top-up.

However, the move will break the deadlock between negotiators, and means GPs in England will finally see the £105 million set aside for directed enhanced services (DESs).

The five clinical DESs and the extended hours DESs funded by the cash will be ready 'very soon', said GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman.

GPC negotiators say the DoH acknowledged that the DDRB recommendation to cut correction factors was illegal, so it is now consulting on how to implement it legally.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said: 'We will challenge this in our response, which is in the hands of our lawyers.'

But he expected the government to change the contract's statement of financial entitlement to allow the cuts.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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