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New clinical DES payments get lukewarm reception

By Nigel Praities

Many GPs are likely to snub the Government's new clinical enhanced services, LMC leaders are warning.

The prediction came as financial details were unveiled of the DES payments, which will see with GPs paid only £2.33 per patient for screening new registrants for harmful drinking, and 5.6p per patient for recording ethnicity.

The reimbursement for other clinical services may prove more lucrative, with £35 per patient treated with beta-blockers for heart failure and £100 per health check in people with learning disabilities.

But Dr Tom Frewin, a GP in Bristol and LMC member in Avon, said he doubted any GP would expand their service provision to take advantage of the new DESs.

‘If they want to give us money on top of what we are doing already, well thank you very much. But if the Government thinks we are going to flock to do this work – dream on,' he said.

Dr Alun Cooper, GPSI in osteoporosis in Crawley, West Sussex, and chair of the National Osteoporosis Society's primary care forum, said the £588.21 a practice could earn per annum for osteoporosis services was welcome but is ‘a pittance'.

‘It is what we should be doing from a clinical perspective, but this is such a small amount of money it does not give us much encouragement,' he said.

Dr Kailash Chand, secretary of West Pennine LMC and a GP in Aston-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, added: ‘The whole culture of micro management from the centre is putting GPs off. I don't find any great encouragement for taking up these DESs in my patch.'

GPC chair Laurence Buckman has already warned the funding – delayed by the protracted legal negotiations over the GP pay award for this year – will 'barely cover costs'.

Dr Kailash Chand: culture of micro-management is alienating GPs Dr Kailash Chand: culture of micro-management is alienating GPs

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