PCTs re-issue GP contracts ahead of commissioning board handover

Practices have been warned to ensure they have a copy of their contract before they are transferred from PCTs to the NHS Commissioning Board (NCB).

Dr Richard Vautrey: GP practices must have up-to-date copy of contracts
Dr Richard Vautrey: GP practices must have up-to-date copy of contracts

The warning from GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey comes after some PCTs, such as NHS Manchester started re-issuing GP contracts to make sure they are correct before they are transferred to the NCB next April.

NHS South East London and NHS South West London PCT clusters, which are due to merge on 1 October, are also sending practices a list of their local enhanced services. Practices are being asked to ensure the ‘schedule’ of their local enhanced services is correct before sending it back to their PCT, to ensure payments continue once PCTs are abolished next April.  

Dr Vautrey said: ‘All practices should have a copy of their contract. This is a basic requirement of being a contractor. This is particularly important when one party to the contract is changing, particularly to avoid and potential contractual problems in the future. There have been various approaches to contract development and monitoring around the country so we wouldn't give central advice as it will vary from area to area.’

A DH spokesman said it had not issued guidance to PCTs about GP contract maintenance before the handover.

A NHS Manchester spokesman said: ‘Next year the commissioning of primary care will become the responsibility of the NHS Commissioning Board. We want to help this transition go smoothly by making sure that all practices have correct, up-to-date copies of their current contract. No alterations are being made to any contract as part of this exercise.’

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