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Independents' Day

Clinical engagement dying

A Government decision to freeze locum payments for PCT professional executive committee members is the 'nail in the coffin' for clinical engagement, GPs are warning.

Allowances for PEC chairs will remain at last year's level of £25,061 and for members at £7,428.

Dr Niti Pall, chair of the PEC at Oldbury and Smethwick PCT, said: 'PECs are dying, we don't know what role they are going to have.

'Clinical engagement is disappearing. This is a nail in the coffin really.'

Dr Michael Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance, said the decision was 'the wrong signal at the wrong time'.

He said: 'The one yawning gap in the NHS is proper support for clinical engagement. There's a danger people will say why bother?'

Dr Nick Plant, a GP in Kings-winford and chair of Dudley South PCT PEC, said: 'It is frankly a slap in the face ­ it's a pretty demanding and thankless job.'

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