PCTs are making the threats now to ensure that the required six-month notice period is given to allow them to cancel the contracts within this financial year, GP understands.
GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said in a ‘handful of cases’ PCTs were making unilateral changes or threatening to cancel PMS deals.
‘There are some sensible PCTs that recognise that within the last two years of their existence their priority is to manage the transition into GP commissioning… and not getting get distracted with battles with PMS practices,’ he said.
‘However, we have seen some PCTs take a threatening approach, including threats of termination. This is hugely unwise at a time when GP practices need to be stable and supported to deliver the forthcoming commissioning agenda.’
A number of PCTs reviewed PMS contracts earlier this year and PMS regulations were amended to allow termination with six months’ notice.
National Association of Primary Care chairman Dr Johnny Marshall said he was aware of more PCTs now targeting PMS practices. ‘We are hearing from practices whose PCTs are saying they want to terminate their PMS contracts at the end of March 2011,' he said.
‘This new wave is probably generated from the PCTs need to manage their resources. If they want to terminate the contracts before the end of the financial year, they need to notify practices now.’