GPC issues warning over unacceptable PCT behaviour

Some PCTs are behaving 'unacceptably' in their attempts to implement GP commissioning, the GPC has warned.

A small number of PCTs are diverting directed enhanced services funds to pay for developing commissioning, the GPC has said.

Others are selecting which GPs will run consortia and forcing practices into groups, against the ethos of the White Paper, said GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey.

'What was happening was they were raiding extended hours funding to fund new commissioning schemes,' Dr Vautrey said.

'PCTs appear to be taking money away from practices and asking them to earn it back through another route.

'More worryingly, we have heard reports of some PCTs selecting a group of GPs to run a consortium, and forcing all practices in the PCT to join that group.'

The GPC met last week for the last time before the consultation period ends and it remains keen to work constructively with the government on the White Paper reforms.

The GPC has warned that PCTs are not allowed to 'manipulate' the national contract, nor should they influence the way consortia develop.

Dr Vautrey also warned that a number of 'speculative'

organisations including law firms were now circulating 'premature and misleading guidance' on the White Paper reforms.

'Any group of GPs that is being approached by lawyers saying there should be this structure or that - it is probably premature,' he said.

'GPs should not sign up to any expensive legal assessment before we know what is expected of consortia,' he said.

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PCT warning

The GPC has highlighted poor PCT behaviour:

  • 'Raiding' extended hours funding to pay for commissioning schemes.
  • Choosing consortia leads.
  • Forcing practices into consortia.

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