DoH adviser quashes new contract rumours

The DoH has quashed rumours that the GMS contract could be renegotiated by early next year.

Dr Dewji: no truth to rumours (Photograph: Rob Clayton)
Dr Dewji: no truth to rumours (Photograph: Rob Clayton)

Dr Mo Dewji, DoH national clinical lead for primary care and NHS Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention, said rumours were circulating in the NHS that a new contract would be introduced by April.

But he told the Primary Care Live conference in London last week the rumours were untrue.

The GPC has called for a commissioning directed enhanced service for 2010/11, to avoid wholesale contract renegotiation. But Dr Dewji's comments came as senior NHS commissioners warned that delays in agreeing a contractual framework for GP commissioning could slow NHS reforms.

Dr Shane Gordon, a GP and chief executive of Colchester practice-based commissioning group in Essex, said if a new contract was not agreed in a 'reasonable timescale' then this would impact on when the rest of the White Paper proposals could be delivered. 'The White Paper has engineered the BMA into a very strong position in the negotiation here,' he added.

'If we don't agree the new GP contract in a reasonable timescale, the rest of the timetable falls over. I think that hasn't quite been thought through.'

Dr Dewji said contract changes should not be rushed. 'The one thing we have all got to get into a discussion about is what should primary care be about in 2015, rather than having a contract that then dictates what primary care is about.'

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey agreed that a new contract by April was unlikely. He said discussions about a new contract were yet to begin. But Dr Vautrey could not say when there might be a new contract. The ball was 'in the government's court', he said. Dr Vautrey added: 'The White Paper actually says that there will be a new contract "over time".

'So even within the White Paper there is the suggestion that this is not an immediate aspiration of the government.'

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