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15% income cut for PMS practices

PMS practices in Suffolk will see their income cut by up to 15 per cent from next September. Suffolk PCT is refusing to back down on controversial plans to renegotiate their contacts.

Suffolk LMC representatives have had a series of meetings with Suffolk PCT executives this month, but have so far been unable to strike an agreement. If new terms are not agreed practices will be forced to move back to GMS without the protection of the minimum practice income guarantee (MPIG).

Dr Ross Worthington is a GP at one of 46 PMS practices affected. He said: ‘What the PCT is proposing is more work for less money, but also proposes to divide up the PMS budget according to the Carr-Hill formula.

For some bizarre reason we are looking at a loss of £300,000 over five years or 15 per cent of the total budget for the three practices in Haverhill. But Haverhill is one of the most deprived towns in Suffolk. Some of the practices in leafy villages will do all right but others in deprived parts will get less.'

Haverhill would have to meet the cuts by replacing some GPs with nurses, he added.

Suffolk PCT chief executive Carole Taylor Brown said dialogue was ‘ongoing' between the PCT and the LMC. GPs have until September 14 to accept the new contracts, which would begin next year.

The PCT has said GPs are currently not offering patients value for money.

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