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DESs may be rolled over

This year's directed enhanced services look set to be rolled over unless the current negotiation stalemate can be resolved.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, GPC chair, said that with the excepttion of the Towards Practice-Based Commissioning DES, the GPC expected all the directed enhanced services to remain in place for another year.

Dr Meldrum said NHS Employers had indicated that it would expect both the Access, and Choice and Booking DESs to continue 'in some form or other'. And he said it had always been the intention that the IT DES would run over two years.

He said: 'If the Department of Health or NHS Employers are wanting to renegotiate, obviously we'd look at what they might or might not be suggesting, but any such negotiations would be underpinned by our view that if there is going to be additional work there have to be additional resources.'

And he said that this year it would have been impossible to cover all of the IT DES 'in certain areas of the country'. He acknowledged that problems still existed with the Choice and Booking DES and there was still unhappiness at the extra questions added to the Access DES survey.

Dr Meldrum said details of next year's DESs would not be finalised until negotiations over the global sum and the quality and outcomes framework recommenced.

The practice-based commissioning DES is to be replaced by local enhanced services, but GPs in many areas are questioning whether these will be in place by the start of the new financial year.

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