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Enhanced services pay to hinge on PCO star rating

Enhanced services that help primary care organisations win top star ratings will prove lucrative under the new contract ­ but others will be neglected and may not get funded, GPs are being warned.

A third of GPs' income is due to come from enhanced services but GPC negotiators are still trying to hammer out a deal on pay rates with the NHS Confederation.

GPC joint-deputy chair Dr Simon Fradd raised the prospect of high pay rates when he revealed to Pulse that his practice could earn £70,000 a year for holding a one-day minor surgery clinic.

Dr Fradd, a GP in Nottingham, said: 'That's based on a cost per case and we can get through 1,200 cases a year.'

The practice would have to pay for a nurse and equipment out of the £70,000. GPC negotiators are pressing for payments to be made per case rather than in lump sums.

But the NHS Alliance warned high pay rates were likely to be restricted to GPs running minor surgery clinics and those who specialise in ENT, dermatology, ortho-paedics or endoscopy as these would help PCTs cut hospital waiting lists and win high star ratings.

GPs who want to bid for other enhanced services ­ including treating homeless patients and the terminally ill and specialised sexual health care ­ could struggle to get any cash.

Dr David Jenner, contract spokesman for the alliance and a GP in Cullompton, Devon, said: 'Any investment in enhanced services will have to be seen to directly address the top priorities of the PCT.

'They will be what the PCT needs to hit national targets, not necessarily what the practice wants to do.'

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