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DoH issues threat over pay protest

GPs who ditch Government initiatives in protest at the zero per cent pay rise risk the wrath of their patients and may even jeopardise the future of primary care, the Department of Health has claimed.

It issued the warning as GPC members geared up to discuss what GPs should boycott at this week's GPC meeting. Options include Choose and Book, practice-based commissioning, the care record system or not taking on new NHS patients.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, a GPC member and GP in Stanmore, Middlesex, said 'largely politically driven' areas of questionable benefit were most at risk.

Dr Peter Fellows, a GP in Lydney, Gloucestershire, and GPC member, agreed, saying there were 'serious worries' about Choose and Book, and the access DES was 'a nonsense'.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said that if practices with open lists refused new patients, they would be in breach of contract; PCTs could withhold payments or even end their contracts.

'Patients would be able to express their views directly through the survey' if the access DES was rolled over and practices 'cannot afford to get left behind' on PBC, she warned.

'Practices should support PCTs in their duty to achieve financial balance.'

She added: 'Failure to do so jeopardises the longer-term viability of primary care.'

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