Discussions on NI clinical DES

The new clinical directed enhanced service (DES) for Northern Ireland will be announced this week, as negotiations continue over the GMS contract, according to the chairman of GPC Northern Ireland.

Dr Brian Dunn, GPC Northern Ireland chairman, said: 'The meeting to discuss the new clinical DES will take place on Friday, 15 February. At the moment, I do not know which clinical area the DES will include.

'But it will be a choice of osteoporosis, peripheral arterial disease or heart failure, as these were the clinical areas originally submitted for inclusion into the quality framework.'

The DoH in England would not accept inclusion of these areas in the QOF, insisting on extended hours.

The UK contract is feared to be in danger of fragmenting because of different government approaches to extended hours.

In Northern Ireland, the GPC has voted unanimously in favour of proposals from the Northern Ireland Executive.

It proposes to use £1.3 million from the £4 million set out for an access DES to fund aspiration payments to help GP practices improve access. The remaining £2.7 million will be used to pay for the new clinical DES.

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