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Nottinghamshire LMC has shelved a forum designed to improve communications with a local PCT because managers failed to take its role seriously.

The breakdown in communications between the LMC and Nottingham City PCT comes amid growing discontent among GPs over the trust's implementation of the GMS contract.

A dozen practices have launched official contract disputes resolution procedures after the PCT refused to take account of staff vacancies when it calculated their global sum.

Nottinghamshire LMC also reported a third of GPs in the city planned to abandon a series of non-core services, such as post-operative care and minor injuries, after the PCT failed to agree enhanced services deals.

LMC chief executive Chris Locke said it decided to put the joint LMC/PCT liaison committee 'on ice' after key Nottingham City PCT managers failed to turn up for meetings.

'It has been a frustrating business,' he said. 'Sometimes we haven't been able to conclude discussions with other PCTs because they haven't been there.'

He said the LMC was open to any PCT attempts to resolve the 'stand-off' but warn-ed the dispute may prove 'a watershed in LMC/PCT relationships in the Nottingham area'.

Mr Locke said the LMC had good relations with other trusts in the region and had reached agreement with them on a basket deal covering postoperative care, minor injuries, care of patients in care homes, ECG monitoring and administering of Zolodex.

'We are disappointed that we couldn't get City PCT to take a similar line as the other PCTs. They just don't accept the principle that GPs should be paid for doing things that they were already doing.'

A PCT offer to discuss commissioning services next year 'doesn't fill us with any confidence', he added.

A spokesman for Nottingham City PCT said it was holding 'ongoing discussions with the LMC on a number of issues' to resolve the situation.

By Cato Pedder

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