Five DESs to be extended into 2010/11

Four clinical directed enhanced services (DESs) and the extended hours DES are to be extended for a further year.

The GPC and NHS Employers have agreed that the DESs for alcohol, learning disabilities, osteoporosis and ethnicity will be extended for a further year into 2010/11.

The extended hours DES will also be extended into 2010/11. Practices will now need to confirm with their PCT whether they want to take up the DES.

Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the GPC, said he hoped GPs would be pleased that the conclusion of the negotiations meant there would be a year of relative stability in the arrangements for the delivery of services to patients.

Andrew Clapperton, head of primary care workforce and contracting at NHS Employers, said he was pleased that the negotiations had been concluded ‘in a timely way and to the satisfaction of all parties'. ‘The new contract continues to provide practices with the foundations on which they can continue to deliver outstanding services to the communities they serve,' he said.

The DoH is currently drafting the directions for the clinical and extended hours DESs and working on accompanying extended hours guidance.

NHS Employers will be publishing an updated version of the clinical DES guidance shortly. In the interim, it has said that PCTs can use the existing guidance which will largely remain unchanged.

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