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GPs demand talks over star ratings

GP leaders are demanding an urgent meeting with health minister Lord Warner following his comments that a planned system to accredit practices should be used for contract monitoring, writes Helen Crump.

Lord Warner told a recent conference that PCTs should be more rigorous about the contracts of practices that declined to engage with any accreditation system.

But the GPC and RCGP, which is developing the system with the Department of Health, have insisted accreditation must be voluntary.

The college, which was embarrassed earlier this year after its talks with the department about possible 'star ratings' were leaked, added that all

contractual talks were a matter for the GPC.

Dr Laurence Buckman, GPC deputy chair, said: 'We always want to be involved in anything to do with GPs in general and the contract in particular.'

The college's proposed rating system is based on its Quality Team Development model.

Dr Dermot Ryan, a GP in Loughborough, Leicestershire, said the Government's stance was 'a negotiating position which needs to be rebuffed by the BMA'.

He said: 'I would hope they would rebut these crazy notions, but I think part of this is the Government proposing impossible things so that real things can't be negotiated.'

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