Letter - GPs should not take the 'King's shilling'

Dear Editor

Our current government seems to be so blinkered by its slavish adherence to the 'choice' agenda and 'modernisation' programme that it has failed to recognise the importance of engaging the profession.

The latest attempt to bribe us is through directed enhanced services.

Our leaders, however, are advising us that we might as well sign up for practice-based commissioning despite its not being compulsory. Nonsense.

If a critical mass of GPs do not take the 'King's shilling' and refuse to take part in practice-based commissioning and Choose and Book, then the systems will not work.

We are being told horror stories of the private sector coming in and stealing all our business. If we work with our primary care organisations (PCOs) we can deliver service redesign more sensitive to local needs and closer to patients without having to be directly involved in the commissioning process.

Let's stick to what we are good at - providing services. And let PCOs stick to what they do - commissioning.

It is not a level playing field: we are on the higher ground.

Dr Steve Connolly, Liverpool.

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