‘Pay freeze will not affect PBC’ declares Hewitt

GP interest in practice-based commissioning (PBC) will not drop as a result of the GMS pay freeze, health secretary Patricia Hewitt has claimed.

Many GPs have said they believe the best way to react to the pay freeze is to boycott DoH policy initiatives.

But Ms Hewitt told GP: ‘Interest in PBC is growing. A number of enthusiasts are frustrated that PCTs are not moving fast enough to give indicative budgets, but I don’t believe the numbers involved in PBC will drop.

‘We need to do more to ensure that enthusiasm is maintained in the GP community.’

Senior GPs attended a Downing Street summit last month to discuss plans to remove barriers to PBC, by unbundling set tariffs for procedures and pushing PCTs to prioritise the scheme.

Data for February 2007 show that 96 per cent of practices in England are receiving enhanced service incentive payments for preparing for PBC.

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