PCT offers practices £220k to create partnerships

A PCT in Essex has offered practices £220,000 to create partnerships if they abandon GMS status.

GMS practices in south west Essex will be offered £220,000 over four years to pay for an additional partner.

In exchange, the practices have to switch to PMS or APMS status.

NHS South West Essex said the move was intended to attract more GPs to the area, and to smooth succession at a number of single-handed practices where partners are up for retirement.

‘The aim of this scheme is to recruit young, innovative GPs into the areas of most need and to enable these GPs to establish their careers,’ said a spokesman. ‘It will enable smaller practices to develop into larger surgeries offering more GPs, providing additional capacity able to respond to the growing population in these areas.’

Dr Brian Balmer, chief executive of Essex LMC, welcomed it as a ‘genuine attempt to attract new GPs into an area which badly needs partners’.

The PCT had wanted all practices in the scheme to move onto APMS contracts, he said. But he persuaded the PCT that GPs would not be prepared to relocate to take up a contract that could be cancelled after three years.

‘What practices gain outweighs the extra PCT control’ involved in moving to PMS status, he added.

The scheme offers practices £80,000 in year one, £80,000 in year two, and £60,000 split over the following two years. So far five practices are thought to be involved.

The move was announced in the Essex LMC newsletter.

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