Practices stop work in pay freeze protest

Some practices in England have stopped using Choose and Book and are no longer adhering to access targets from last year’s directed enhanced services (DES) according to GP leaders.

LMCs are pushing for local enhanced services (LESs) based on the Choose and Book, access and practice-based commissioning (PBC) DESs with inflationary uplifts to the 2006/7 rates.

They are negotiating variations to the schemes to bring them up to date or to align them with local priorities.

However, LMCs say that some practices will refuse to re-engage with Choose and Book even if PCTs offer funding through LESs.

Wessex LMCs chief executive Dr Nigel Watson said: ‘Usage has dropped off and even with local incentives some practices may continue to refuse to do it.’

GP leaders say some PCTs are holding off agreeing local replacements for the one-year DES agreements in the hope that national deals will be rolled out.

But GPs said this will not happen because national negotiations between the GPC and NHS Employers remain at a standstill after collapsing at the end of 2006.

‘I am not expecting national movement on access, PBC or Choose and Book,’ Dr Watson concluded.

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