NHS Employers take on all GMS negotiations

NHS Employers will handle ‘all negotiations on the GMS contract’, a senior figure in the organisation has insisted, after GP revealed GP leaders want talks with the DoH (GP, 20 April).

GPC leaders said previous negotiations broke down because NHS Employers had not been given a mandate by the DoH to talk about all aspects of the deal.

GPC chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said last week he believed the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Pay Review Body could recommend pay rises for GMS GPs.

NHS Employers’ head of primary care contracting Chris Dowse said that the GPC was free to approach DDRB to ask them to consider an uplift in GP income.

But she added: ‘That will not replace negotiations about the rest of the GMS contract. All negotiations on the GMS contract will be led by NHS Employers.’

Ms Dowse said that how new funds are invested, how efficiencies are applied and the detail of enhanced services’ had to be decided through negotiations.

But GPC leaders are not convinced the organisation has been given a strong enough mandate to lead meaningful negotiations.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘The DoH does not seem to want to give them the chance to speak. ‘It is frustrating. There were problems last time that don’t seem to have been ironed out.’

Dr Meldrum said: ‘There is a process of amending, adding to, and subtracting from the contract, and we need to know if NHS Employers has a mandate to do that. Some doubt remains about the role of the DDRB.’

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