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'GPs urged to take a leap of faith on enhanced services'

Central Manchester PCT is pleading with its GPs to take a leap of faith and continue providing enhanced services for which no pay deal has yet been struck.

The trust has commissioned all the directed enhanced services and agreed deals for local or national enhanced services covering near-patient testing, intrapartum care, drug and alcohol misuse and intrauterine contraceptive device fitting.

But Ian Mello, associate director of primary care at the trust, said financial pressures meant decisions would not be reached on other enhanced services until June ­ but he hoped practices would put the needs of patients first.

He said: 'GPs are aware there is some sort of caveat with the contract ­ we don't have the funding for all the enhanced services.

'We are asking GPs to tell us which services they want to provide, or are providing and not getting paid for, and we will make a decision in June as to whether to commission it.'

But Manchester LMC predicted some practices would pull the plug on services unless they were guaranteed payment.

LMC chair Dr Alison Hutton, a GP in the city, said GPs were only given their contracts at the end of last week, leaving little time for thorough checks.

She added: 'The PCT has stated it wishes to maintain services to patients for the next year and will expect GPs to continue enhanced services while they are finalised. But this message has only just been shared with GPs.'

She warned: 'Some practices may decide they cannot provide services that they haven't been contracted for.

'Personally I will carry on doing most of what I have usually done and hope that the outstanding issues

will be sorted out within

the next year.'

Zero-star PCT Central Manchester

Population 185,000

Number of GPs/practices 105/41

GPs opting out of out-of-hours 80%

Average practice Q&O target 800-900 points

Prescribing overspend 2003/4? No ­ break even

% of practices in PMS 34%

% of GMS practices needing MPIG 70%

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