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GPs may miss out on access DES pay

GPs may miss out on income from the new access directed enhanced service because thresholds for patient survey results have been set too high, GPC negotiators have admitted.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, GPC chair, said it was 'an open

secret' that they would have liked the thresholds to be set lower.

He said: 'They're too high, but we were always going to want lower thresholds and the Government were always going to want higher thresholds.'

On 48-hour access, GPs have to score at least 50 per cent satisfaction to get anything and more than 90 per cent to get the maximum award.

Dr Meldrum said there were fears that patients who had

had more negative experiences would be more likely to fill

in the forms and predicted results from the new patient

surveys on access would

differ markedly from previous exercises.

No details of which patients take part in the surveys will be available to GPs.

Dr Laurence Buckman, GPC deputy chair, said: 'There's a great concern that if that is

not done, there's the potential for all sorts of breaches of patient confidentiality and that's something that we and NHS Employers are committed to not doing.'

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