Late scramble to use DES funding

Money promised for a 'basket' of enhanced services in Wales has been squandered elsewhere, according to GPs.

GPs only received funding for directed enhanced services (DESs) in the third quarter of 2008/9 and health boards struggled to spend the £6.4 million investment by the year end.

Dr Heather Young, from Dyfed Powys LMC, said there had been a 'scramble' at the end of the year to spend all the money. 'Enhanced service money is being used on premises, out of hours, and QOF overspends.'

Dr Deb Waters, from Gwent LMC, said the delays to the DES basket had caused major cash flow problems. 'We call for a more effective system to avoid this problem year on year.'

A basket of five DESs, including extended hours, was agreed by the Welsh government last year as an alternative to England's extended hours push.

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