Dear Minister, PMS worries us Dear Doctor, PMS is here to stay
A clear commitment to PMS practices is made by Health Minister John Hutton, and I would be grateful if you would publish these letters to help the huge numbers of PMS GPs who are being asked to vote to understand the implications.
Dr Ed Southall
Rt Hon Alan Milburn
Secretary of State for Health
March 17, 2003
Dear Mr Milburn
My partners and I have recently attended the BMA roadshow set up to explain the new contract. We are a second-wave PMS practice and find ourselves in a difficult position.
It is expected that we will vote on the new contract but the BMA tells us you have refused our representative body negotiating rights. We are told by the BMA that we will receive enhanced seniority payments and the right to opt out of out-of-hours but that the Department of Health is 'undecided' as to whether we will receive quality payments.
Can it be right that this is the case? Will 30 per cent of the population of the UK be denied the benefits of this scheme for promoting best medical care?
We were excited as a practice at the prospect of employing more staff and setting up protocols to deliver a higher level of care in such important areas as CHD, diabetes, stroke, epilepsy and asthma/COPD and are dismayed to hear we may be denied the support that GMS practices would receive.
The BMA tell us the £1.3 billion funding for quality is only for GMS practices. Surely this cannot be correct.
Dr Ed Southall
Dr Jo Roberts
Dr Lorraine Foreman
Dr Deb Avery
Dr Giles Hammersley
Dr Nicki Spicer
Dr Trevor Avis
May 2, 2003
Dear Dr Southall
I understand your uncertainties and would like to emphasise that we have supported PMS over recent months. However, at a time when the ballot is pending I do not feel it would be appropriate to comment on individual details. We are of course considering the nature of PMS in relation to the GMS contract.
On one point of fact, I would point out the £1.3 billion for quality will be made available to both PMS and GMS practices. I hope this is of some help.
And I can assure you PMS is here to stay. You will be able to decide whether and when to return to a GMS contract. The major additional investment going into primary care over the next three years will not discriminate between GMS and PMS. The benefits of this investment will be accessible by both.
Minister of State
Department of Health