Short-term contracts are no longer on the agenda

Your story is quite right that the possibility of short-term GP contracts is one among many that have been discussed at the Primary Care Advisory Board for the Darzi Review (GP, 14 March).

Having raised the possibility, we rapidly excluded it because we believe that general practice is about long-term relationships providing continuity and personal care and these require long term personal and financial commitment. These points were well made by Dr Laurence Buckman in last week's GP. The registered list is our greatest strength, yet less well known is that it was itself up for debate only a few years back and survived only because of some energetic and well-reasoned briefings behind the scenes from GP colleagues.

The Primary Care Advisory Board has a number of GP members and will, I believe, provide important suggestions that will improve patient care. These will recognise the importance and potential of general practice.

They will build on the registered list and they will aim to extend our role and effectiveness as future commissioners and providers within primary care.

Dr Michael Dixon, chairman, NHS Alliance.

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