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PCT asks GPs to take pay cut

A PCT has taken the unprecedented step of asking its GPs to take a voluntary 5 per cent pay cut to help lift it out of a financial crisis.

GPs in Havering, north-east London, received letters this week asking if they could 'agree to this voluntary (non-recurring) reduction' by 11 December. The letter from Ralph McCormack, chief executive of the PCT, stated it had decided not to impose savings targets or top-slicing on GPs' budgets.

Havering PCT is £6m short of its Government target to make £21.7m of savings this year.

Dr Ashok Deshpande, a GP in Elm Park, doubted whether any practice would come forward. He said: 'They are trying their best to balance the books and exploring different avenues. This is one that was proposed but I don't think it's going to work.'

Another GP in the area, who asked not to be named, said: 'It seems to be unprecedented. I've never before heard of GPs personally being asked to take a pay cut to bail out a PCT because of problems put upon them from above.'

A spokesperson for Havering PCT said practice budgets had so far been least affected by 'savings or financial recovery targets'.

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