Scottish Executive axes all DESs except access

The Scottish Executive has axed all Scotland-specific direct enhanced services (DESs) for 2007/8 apart from access, according to the GPC.

The lost DESs, worth an average of £12,000 per practice, will be replaced by a programme of services from which health boards in local areas can pick and choose, said chairman of GPC Scotland Dr Dean Marshall.

'The situation is that the access DES is continuing but the rest of the DESs won't be,' said Dr Marshall. 'The Scottish Executive health department has decided it wants to replace DESs with a programme of services.'

Payment for these services is likely to be negotiated locally, al-though the final decision is still to be announced, he added.

'The department is going for local negotiations rather than national,' said Dr Marshall.

The £12.6 million funding allocated to Scottish DESs in 2006/7 will continue this year but for local enhanced services.

Distribution of the funds will change, with health boards in areas with the greatest deprivation receiving higher funding.

The programme of services will include the DESs that have been dropped - a cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk register, cancer referrals, further enhanced services for healthcarers, and services for adults with learning disabilities, said Dr Marshall.

Childhood obesity, fall prevention and alcohol addiction services may also be included.

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