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At the heart of general practice since 1960

How to produce the best possible practice leaflet

Dr Bob Button advises practices on what they

need to be doing this month

September 6

Check your finance statement from your primary care agency to see whether or not it has adjusted your global sum to take account of what it terms the 'normalisation factor'. This is an adjustment made to correlate the total number of patients in the country with the number of patients in each PCT area and applies a weighting so that the totals across the country add up. You can find details of how it is calculated by looking in appendix B of the SFE where the calculation is clearly set out.

Ask your PCT about the definite

date for QMAS to be released and whether it has a nominated manager who will be able to deal with any queries you might have.

September 7

There was an announcement in August of more money being made available for premises developments. Obviously it is more likely you will be considered for this if you are early in the queue. You may well have assessed your development needs earlier this year and either decided not to proceed with them or been turned down because of inadequate funds.

It would be a good idea to review these decisions as early as possible while the new money is still available at the PCT.

September 14

I think the vast majority of PCTs will be intending to take over full responsibility for out-of-hours on October 1. Accordingly they should have been contacting you to find out how many GPs would be willing to join the rota system and the times they would work. Any negotiation over payment rates for GPs is likely to be much more powerful when the PCT has accepted responsibility irrevocably.

Practices must consider how much time the partners can spend doing such work for the PCT without interfering with their ability to contribute to the profit earning of the partnership as a whole. Such decisions should be part of any revision of your practice agreement.

September 23

PCTs are being instructed by the Government to carry forward their original plans to perform an extended criminal records bureau check on all GPs. This is due to begin in November but there will be preparatory work to be done. Contact your PCT to find out what plans it has for implementing this procedure.

September 30

An important date for PMS practices. You should have completed all renegotiations in respect of the contract for PMS that will in future be held by the PCT even if it has not been in the past. Should you not have completed your negotiations it is theoretically possible for the PCT to impose conditions that may not suit you.

Bob Button is chief executive of Wessex LMCs

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