PCTs take flexible approach to extended hours

PCTs are allowing GPs to provide extended hours in a more flexible way than expected, the BMA has revealed.

Some PCTs are supplementing the directed enhanced service (DES) with additional payments to make the deal more attractive, said GPC negotiator Chaand Nagpaul. He suggested PCTs were taking a pragmatic approach to make sure practices did not simply refuse to provide extended hours because it was not financially attractive.

‘The government is at risk of not achieving its own target,' he said. ‘When practices work out the expenses many will realise it is not worth their while.'

Suffolk LMC chair Bill Robinson said because of the recent budget cuts from their PMS review, PMS practices will want to bring in income in other ways.

Mr Robinson was positive about making the DES workable. ‘The health service has a history of taking government initiatives and making them work,' he said. 

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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