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Independents' Day

No room for complacency over contract

That a room packed with PCO managers at the NHS Alliance's annual meeting expressed concern about their ability to implement the new contract will come as little surprise to GPs. Given the monumental changes afoot and, to put it kindly, an uneven spread of management quality in primary care, putting the contract into practice was never going to be without problems.

There is still much to be done on IT. A cash crisis is looming over drug budgets. The future arrangements for out-of-hours are uncertain. Cash earmarked for enhanced services has gone missing.

But the dismissive reaction of NHS chief executive Nigel Crisp to the anxious pleas of his managers smacked of complacency. With just five months to go until changeover day, GPs can only hope Mr Crisp's display of indifference was a facade. GPs have had enough of bland reassurance. What they need is action.

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