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The waiting game

GP experts push for raising of quality bar on heart disease

Large numbers of PCTs are set to miss out on incentive cash meant to reward them for getting GPs 'registered' to use Choose and Book.

LMCs revealed GPs in many areas were refusing to participate while a number of PCTs were not doing enough to win over practices.

PCTs have to get 30 per cent of their practices registered to use Choose and Book by the end of June in order to get a £6,000 per practice bonus.

The GPC has advised practices to agree to register for Choose and Book because they are not committing themselves to taking on the scheme by doing so.

But many GPs said the £6,000 bonus was not going to be passed on to them so they saw no reason to register.

Dr Brian Balmer, chief executive of Essex LMCs, said PCTs in the county were using scare tactics by telling practice managers participation in Choose and Book was compulsory.

'They are more than ''encouraging'' practices,' he said. 'If people think it's a good idea that's fine, but they don't have to do it.'

Dr Paul Roblin, chief executive of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire LMCs, said many PCTs in the region were not trying to hit the target because they were worried at the workload involved.

Trusts have to select the choice of five hospitals that GPs would give to patients.

He said: 'It's quite a major work. My guess is it would be unlikely they get 30 per cent of practices registered.'

Kent LMC said it was 'not confident' that Canterbury and Coastal PCT would get sufficient numbers of GPs to sign up to meet the target.

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