PCTs increasingly hand GP services to other providers

PCTs are increasingly handing GP services to other providers, with pharmacies given almost twice as many local enhanced service (LES) contracts as five years ago, data show.

Dr Vautrey: ‘The figures show that PCTs have been increasingly looking to other providers of services.'

The GPC said practices were now at greater risk of having their services cherry-picked by other providers, which could affect efforts to integrate services and may damage care.

The number of LESs provided by community pharmacies rose by 83% in the five years to 2010/11, according to an NHS Information Centre report. The review also found there had been a rise of 4.9% in 2010/11 alone.

In contrast, general practice enhanced services are being cut back. In 2010/11, practice earnings from LES contracts fell by 5.5%, according to figures released in October.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said : ‘[The figures] show that PCTs have been increasingly looking to other providers of services.

‘Practices should be aware of the greater risk in the future of the any qualified provider policy starting to cherry-pick services currently delivered by practices, which could lead to a more fragmented and potentially less safe service to patients.’

PCTs awarded 30,962 LESs to community pharmacies in 2010/11, compared with 16,920 in 2005/6, the documents show.

Contracts for smoking cessation, medication reviews and screening services were among those which grew the most over the five years.

Cuts to LES contracts in general practice were partly blamed for the stagnation seen in UK practice earnings in 2010/11. This saw investment in general practice rise just 0.4% across the UK.

A GP investigation recently revealed how cuts to enhanced services across England will wipe out slim uplifts to GP contract funding agreed for 2011/12.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Andrea Leadsom

DHSC confirms new minister responsible for general practice

Andrea Leadsom has been confirmed as the new DHSC minister for primary care and general...


Government must match consultants' pay offer in new contract for GPs

GPs have warned they could be forced into industrial action if the government fails...

Consultants in London on strike earlier this year

Consultants to vote on new pay deal to end strikes

Consultants will vote on a government pay offer that would increase salaries by up...

BMA England GP committee chair Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer (Photo: Sarah Turton/BMA)

GPs' willingness to take collective action will underpin contract talks

GPs' willingness to take part in 'once in a generation' collective action will underpin...

GP consultation

GPs out of work 'because practices can’t afford to hire them', warns GP leader

Growing numbers of GPs are struggling to find work - with some considering moving...

computer and stethoscope

Petition demanding SCA exam refund collects almost 2,000 signatures

Almost 2,000 people have signed a petition demanding refunds for doctors whose GP...