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Independents' Day

Don't make PCOs contract whipping boys

Most GPs view the approach of the new contract in April with deep anxiety as they feel they will inevitably face personal cash-flow problems. They still do not know how much they will be earning, major parts of the new contract still seem to be in flux, and PCOs are still lacking meaningful information on which to act.

From April, whatever GPs get, they will have to find money to pay their staff, run their practice and, of course, meet their own living costs.

Last week Pulse reported PCO management had been criticised for its lack of maturity. And PCO staff are likely to bear the brunt of rising GP stress levels.

Whatever the difficulties, GPs have no choice but to work with their PCOs. The future will only be grimmer if GPs blame them for delays caused by the Department of Health and the negotiators.

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