The GPC has warned that a change to the way local enhanced services (LESs) are referred to by the DH in correspondence with CCGs, could mean that they would be encouraged to seek to tender them to providers other than local GPs.
GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said that although a new name for the services had not been established, people were concerned that a move away from the name ‘local enhanced service’ would mean that the work was removed from local GP providers.
‘People were worried that the name changed carried with it an implication that they were no longer locally managed.'
Dr Buckman added this led to concerns that CCGs would feel pressurised into putting LESs out to any qualified provider (AQP).
Dr Buckman said: ‘Our concern is that people understand they don’t need to flog off these services to the private sector.’
He said that many LESs were most appropriately offered by GPs and it was up the individual CCGs to decide when they put a service to AQP.
However he said it was important that CCGs who decided not to put LESs to AQP did so ‘transparently’.
‘It’s important that CCGs…are not seen to be dividing up money for its membership, but there are services that only GPs could offer that rely on the fact you have a patient list. But it is important that it appears to be above board,’ added Dr Buckman.