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Ministers braced for sicknotes backlash

PCTs will get an extra £133 million for enhanced services between 2006 and 2008 as part of a package of increased funding for the NHS.

But GPs and leading health experts said the extra money would be eaten up by pay deals, Agenda for Change and implementing Payment by Results.

Trusts will get £738 million for enhanced services in 2006/7 and £809 million in 2007/8, rises of 9.2 and 9.6 per cent respectively. The increase is part of a £135 billion payout to PCTs in England for the period.

Health Secretary John Reid pledged that extra cash will be targeted towards areas of high social deprivation, with 88 PCTs identified as 'Spearhead' areas for the highest increases.

Kings Fund chief executive Niall Dickson predicted 'widespread deficits' for PCTs.

GPC deputy chair Dr Laurence Buckman said: 'We need to look closely and see if GPs' needs regarding resources will be met.'

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