GPC warns DESs may not be financially viable

Struggling practices may need to consider refusing new DESs as they may not be 'financially sensible', even if it means losing thousands of pounds of practice income, the GPC warns.

Dr Richard Vautrey: DESs may not be financially worthwhile
Dr Richard Vautrey: DESs may not be financially worthwhile

The average practice could earn back up to £15,500 of funding stripped from QOF by providing new DESs, the NHS Commissioning Board revealed on Monday.

But the GPC has warned practices to 'look at the bottom line' when deciding whether to take up the offer, and warned CCGs they must help to make the schemes financially viable.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said: 'We should be clear that this is £15,500 that has been taken away from practices and they are being invited to earn it back by doing extra work on top of the work they are already doing. This is not new money and the government hasn't taken any work away.'

Practices already struggling under the weight of heavy workload will have to make 'difficult choices as to whether it is financially sensible' to take on the extra work to earn back this funding.

He said: 'Practices need to look at the bottom line - not the top - when making this decision, and factor in all the increased expenses that they would incur in order to try to achieve these.'

Dr Vautrey added that CCGs have a 'crucial' role in deciding the final DES specifications for each area. 'CCGs should be reasonable and realistic in their expectations of what can be delivered for a relatively small amount of money,' he said.

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