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Default contract GPs face NHS ban

GPs who use the last resort 'default contract' will have to leave the NHS unless they can reach agreement on their GMS deal within six months, Pulse can reveal.

Under the default contract ­ which is invoked if GPs and PCOs cannot agree a new GMS contract by March 31 ­ GPs will not be paid quality aspiration money or for enhanced services.

GPs would also be barred from opting out of out-of-hours work or any additional services.

GPs fear they could be forced into the default contract because Government delays in releasing income details have cut the time to negotiate their final GMS deal.

GPC negotiators have urged GPs to sign their GMS contract even if they have disputes with their PCO to avoid the default deal.

GPC joint-deputy chair Dr Hamish Meldrum said if practices were unable to solve problems within six months and had not used the dispute resolution procedure, they would be left without a contract.

He added: 'If you haven't done either you can't stay in the default contract indefinitely. It would suggest you didn't want to sort anything out.'

Quality framework and enhanced services pay would be backdated to April 1 whenever practices finally switched to the GMS contract.

Ian Dodge, head of GMS at the Department of Health, has told PCT managers the default contract is 'not expected to be used, save in exceptional circumstances'.

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