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NHS managers accused of bullying trusts to stop swine flu workload concessions

By Ian Quinn

GP leaders have accused NHS managers of bullying trusts to stop them offering concessions in deals over funding for the vaccination of under fives against swine flu.

Some LMCs have claimed PCTs are trying to bypass them altogether, despite calls from the Department of Health and the BMA for deals to be negotiated locally.

In Birmingham, LMC leaders are furious after claiming they have been fobbed off by PCTs in the area.

Dr Robert Morley, executive secretary of Birmingham LMCs, said a delegation attended a meeting to discuss a potential deal only to find ‘no-one empowered to make decisions at the meeting.'

He said: ‘We have requested to see the organ grinders as a matter of urgency. Meantime the PCTs, having been bullied by the SHA, are putting out LES specifications without any of the concessions upon which we are insisting.'

While many LMCs have agreed to carry out the vaccination for a bare minimum fee of £5.25 per vaccination, Birmingham LMCs are among those refusing to cave in over demands for GPs to be given concessions.

The LMCs are calling for PCTs to carry out all call and recall of under fives and to allow GPs to suspend all bureaucracy not essential for patient care, including QOF visits, contract reviews, inspection control visits, performance management and balanced scorecard work.

It is also demanding full flexibility to use extended hours for swine flu vaccinations, in line with a similar deal already negotiated by GPs across Surrey, Sussex and parts of London.

Pulse spoke to both Heart of Birmingham PCT and West Midlands SHA , who both claimed that the other party was responsible for overseeing the talks.

We have also learnt that at least one PCT had agreed in principle to concessions to its local LMC, only to withdraw the offer at the eleventh hour after pressure from its SHA.

Meanwhile Peter Higgins, chief executive of Lancashire and Cumbria LMCs, said talks over a LES in Cumbria amounted to ‘one GP in a teleconference with loads of other non GPs.'

SHAs have been accused of bullying PCTs to stop swine flu vaccination workload concessions SHAs have been accused of bullying PCTs to stop swine flu vaccination workload concessions

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