PCTs must guarantee to pay GPs for PBC

Practices should not enter into any practice-based commissioning (PBC) arrangements without a written guarantee in advance that their 70 per cent share of any savings made would be available to the practice whether or not the PCT was in debt, according to GPC guidance.

The GPC has criticised recent statements from the DoH saying that they do not fully address GPC concerns.

The PBC guidance for GPs says: ‘The GPC believes therefore that there is an absolute necessity for practices not to enter into any commissioning arrangements without written and signed confirmation from the PCT, in advance, that they will be guaranteed their share of freed up resources at the end of the financial year, regardless of the PCT’s financial situation.’

GPC chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said: ‘Securing absolute clarity from the DoH on the rights of practices to at least 70 per cent of any savings made via PBC has been a bit like drawing blood from a stone.’

He added that PBC had potential to improve services for patients and allow GPs a bigger role in local service provision.

‘However, at a time when PCTs are desperate for resources, we feel that watertight arrangements have to be put in place in advance of commissioning activity to ensure that these benefits for patients are delivered.’

Figures for December showed that the number of practices in England receiving incentive payments for PBC had increased from 89 per cent in November to 93 per cent.

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