GPs force PCT to axe Q&O loophole
A PCT's attempt to pay practices only half of the locum reimbursement requested by GPs for partners off sick or on leave has been banned.
After a complaint by GPs in Southampton, the new contract's dispute resolution body has ruled trusts cannot adopt a blanket policy to cut reimbursement for maternity, paternity, adoptive or sick leave.
Southampton City PCT told GPs last year they would be reimbursed at only 50 per cent of the amount they requested. The trust argued the payment was discretionary and practices should cover the cost like any other business would cover expenses. But the Im-plementation Co-ordination Group ruled in GPs' favour.
Dr Nigel Watson, chief executive of Wessex LMCs, said he had now asked for a meeting with the PCT to agree a protocol for dealing with locum reimbursement requests.
He said: 'The PCT has always said it would abide by a national adjudication. It will now have to back down from its position of 50 per cent reimbursement.'