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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Hospital discharge notes put GPs' patients at risk

GPs could be allowed to spend savings from practice-based commissioning on improving their premises.

Officials told an NHS Alliance seminar last week they would 'consider' the move after GPs complained there was little incentive to take over commissioning.

The Department of Health has been resistant to the idea because GPs could make personal gain and it would make practice-based commissioning more like fundholding.

But the scheme has been hit by recent problems which could deter many GPs from taking it on.

GPs have complained they will be restricted by Government targets on using private providers and by the omission of non-elective care from the new Payment by Results tariff system.

Dr Mike Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance and a GP in Cullompton, Devon, said GPs were having problems raising capital to invest in premises and letting them use commissioning savings would help. He said: 'If the money was there you could make a decision very quickly.'

Final guidance is due later this month.

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