Letters, calls and emails: Letter of the Week - The BMA must defendus against PMS budget cuts

As a partner at a large PMS practice in Northumberland I am writing to express my dismay, not only at Northumberland Care Trust's plans to cut our PMS budget, but also the BMA's failure to support us and neighbouring practices during the negotiating process.

Following the care trust's decision to renegotiate our PMS contract, we are facing a budget cut of 8 per cent in the first year, increasing to 12 per cent the following year. It is not clear if further budget cuts will be imposed on us over subsequent years.

We have invested significant funds in practice development over the past three years. These budget cuts will prevent any such investment in the future and are certain to restrict the level of services we can provide to our patients.

Despite the economic reality facing our practice and colleagues across Northumberland, the BMA appears to have no intention of supporting us.

It has become increasingly evident that the BMA views such drastic budget cuts as an acceptable outcome for all PMS practices. It does not appear to feel the situation warrants any change from its current stance, despite the obvious and profound implications for general practice across our county.

We urge the BMA to listen to its members and work alongside them to prevent catastrophic change to primary care in Northumberland.

Dr Adrian Jefferies, Cramlington, Northumberland.

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