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GPs agree new terms on PMS

By Gareth Iacobucci

GPs in a London borough have reached an agreement with their PCT over the renegotiation of their PMS contracts.

Cash-strapped Waltham Forest PCT had been desperate to renegotiate contracts with all of its PMS practices, in a bid to try and reduce its financial deficits.

It was feared that the move would lead to GP services in the area being substantially cut, or even shut down.

However, after negotiating with the help of the local LMC and a legal support team, the borough's 25 PMS practices have agreed terms with the PCT.

Waltham is the first PCT in London to agree new contractual terms with all its PMS practices.

The PCT said the new PMS contracts would see GPs focussing on: ‘Improving access for patients through extended opening hours, providing active interventions for patients to lose weight, and improving clinical management of patient with CHD and Diabetes, hypertension and mental health.'

Dr David Shubhaker, chief executive of Waltham Forest and Redbridge LMCs, said that Waltham Forest PCT had been suitably flexible during negotiations, but fears that other PCTs may adopt more militant approaches to negotiations, similar to those used by PCTs in Suffolk and Northumberland.

He said: ‘In Waltham Forest, they (the PCT) are not rigid. They have given some objectives, and asked if GPs could do one late surgery and one early morning surgery. GPs haven't been threatened, and the extended hours were reasonable.'

‘But in Redbridge, it is different. They (the PCT) are asking for five one and a half hour sessions more per week to keep the growth, and want GPs to do 192 appointments a week for every 2,000 patients.'

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