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Chisholm insists PMS and GMS contracts will merge

GP negotiators have insisted the PMS and new GMS contracts will merge and the GPC will win negotiating rights for PMS GPs.

The claim comes despite repeated Government statements that the two contracts will remain separate and widespread scepticism from PMS GPs.

Health minister John Hutton's letter to PMS GPs earlier this month stated PMS would remain as a 'separate, permanent, voluntary local option' to 'complement the new GMS arrangements'.

But in an interview with Pulse after the GMS contract ballot result, GPC chair Dr John Chisholm said ministers had refused to discuss PMS negotiating rights until the GMS deal was accepted but would now return to the table.

'If you have two contracts which are parallel, both of which are practice-based, both of which improve quality of care, both of which allow greater local flexibility and both of which contain arrangements for taking on a range of services you start to wonder why there are two contracts,' he said.

'We would like to achieve national negotiating rights, but how and when is something we will discuss.'

Dr James Kingsland, chair of the GPC PMS subcommittee and a former Government adviser on PMS, said the BMA had no hope of getting negotiating rights. He said: 'Why would the Government want to go back to collective pay bargaining when they have achieved partly one of the goals of PMS, to get rid of that?'

Dr Graham Archard, a PMS GP in Christchurch, Dorset, said it would be difficult for the GPC to handle local negotiations nationally.

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