'Giving notice' to PMS contracts in top 10 list of PCT cuts

PMS GPs are expecting renewed contract scrutiny after ‘giving notice' to PMS contracts was identified as a cost-cutting option for PCTs.

Dr Barbara Hakin
Dr Barbara Hakin
Last year’s primary care White Paper said that the DoH would ‘undertake a fundamental review of the financial arrangements for the 40 per cent of practices on local PMS contracts’. This was followed by guidance stating that the specific aim was to ‘constrain costs of PMS contracts’ in line with GMS (GP, 24 March 2006).

Now, a top 10 list of cost-cutting measures for PCTs says they should ‘consider giving notice to PMS contracts, where practices are not seen to be offering value for money’ according to Nottinghamshire LMC.

Chris Locke, Nottinghamshire LMC chief executive, said that he had not yet seen evidence of PCTs revoking contracts, but the tone of a letter sent by East Midlands SHA chief executive Dr Barbara Hakin to local PCTs had caused alarm. If contracts were revoked many GPs would see it as a ‘statement of war’.

‘PCTs are reliant on GPs to make a success of practice-based commissioning (PBC), which is key to bringing the NHS into financial balance. This is the wrong time to start annoying people,’ he said.

‘The knee-jerk reaction of some of our members was to use PBC as a bargaining tool when they read the letter.’

edward.davies@haymarket.com

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