Letters: There is no plot for PCOs to usher in 'floating QOF'

The NHS Confederation believes your articles 'Managers plot GP contract overhaul' and 'QOF income to be targeted by PCOs' (GP, 19 June) misrepresent our position on both the GP contract and the future of primary care more widely.

At our conference earlier this month there were many and wide-ranging discussions on how the NHS can deal with a more difficult financial environment in the years ahead and our publications Dealing with the Downturn and Commissioning in a Cold Climate address some of the forthcoming challenges.

Nigel Edwards was not advocating the use of a floating QOF. The NHS Confederation does not believe that GP income should be targeted by PCTs or that charging for GP appointments would be a sensible idea. There is no 'plot'.

What is undoubtedly true is that all parts of the health system will have to work together to ensure we maintain standards and the confidence of patients with less income growth than we have been accustomed to over the past decade.

Clinicians and managers will have to work together if we are to respond effectively to these financial challenges. It is crucial that we have a reasoned debate about these issues.

Steve Barnett, Chief executive, NHS Confederation

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