The DoH recognises GPs may be worried that the workload would adversely affect finances.
The report says: ‘The DoH does not intend any practice to be disadvantaged financially in responding to an influenza pandemic, with details to be negotiated via NHS Employers.’
GPC chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum has suggested the previous year’s figures for practice achievement would be used to determine payment during a pandemic (GP, 3 March 2006).
The report also suggests that in order to cope with increased demand for consultations, GPs cancel outside activities such as meetings and teaching, and suspend some chronic disease management, new routine referrals and any minor surgery.
However, North Somerset GP Dr Richard Lawson said common sense meant that patients would think twice before presenting with a non-urgent condition.