The GPC has urged practices in the area to stand together to resist the changes to their contracts, because it believes this is a 'test bed' for similar battles in other parts of England. Practices have been advised to refuse to sign any PCT documents at this stage.
GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said the changes Suffolk PCT sought to impose amounted to 'more work for less money', and could force some practices to close. 'We regard this as bullying,' he said.
Practices have until 1 January to agree new deals or face contracts being scrapped. They can also choose to return to GMS, but would be offered no MPIG.
Suffolk PCT previously served notice that contracts would be changed or terminated in six months in March, but appeared to have backed down (GP, 30 March).
Melanie Craig, head of performance at Suffolk PCT said the trust had consulted with GPs over the contract changes. She said the new deal would bring 'longer opening hours and extra services available at practices'. A statement from the PCT added that 'vast variation' in payments to practices under current arrangements was 'not necessarily reflected by the needs of the practice populations'.
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