PCOs can cut enhanced services
Primary care organisations have been given licence to cut enhanced services after mandatory minimum spending floors were reduced in status to 'indicative monitoring levels'.
A letter from Dr Barbara Hakin, NHS Employers chief negotiator, to PCTs revealed the move was agreed with the GPC in talks on GPs' contracts.
The letter, which has provoked an angry response from negotiators on a series of issues, also implied that PCTs need only meet the requirements for directed enhanced services from next year.
Dr Hakin wrote: 'PCOs must still offer as a minimum, the funding levels indicated, to practices choosing to provide the required service under the directed enhanced services.'
GPC negotiators attacked the letter's 'woolly language'. Dr Laurence Buckman, GPC deputy chair commented: 'If PCOs are stupid enough to cut funding then patients will notice and I hope they will complain.'