Swine flu: contract suspension set for hotspots only

Elements of the new GMS contract would be suspended in swine flu 'hot spots' rather than on a national basis, the GPC chairman has said in a letter to GPs.

Tamiflu influenza drug (photograph: MARK THOMAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY)
Tamiflu influenza drug (photograph: MARK THOMAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY)

Dr Laurence Buckman said that because the pandemic has not developed as evenly as expected, original plans to trigger income protection on a country-wide basis had been amended. The GPC is therefore working closely with the UK health departments and NHS Employers, he said.

'We are exploring urgently the possibility of suspending elements of the contract on a PCO (primary care organisation) by PCO basis, controlled by regional health authorities and supervised nationally,' he said.

Dr Buckman added: ‘We have a definite undertaking that GPs will not lose income as a result of working with the local NHS during a pandemic.'

The GPC is also seeking to ensure that PMS practice income is also protected, he said.

Revised joint guidance from the BMA, RCGP and DoH will be available shortly on the BMA website, according to Dr Buckman.

tom.moberly@haymarket.com

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