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PCTs' extra £133m for enhanced services

GPs will need to be offered pay incentives to take part in the Government's community matrons scheme if their doubts are to be overcome, NHS managers have admitted.

The NHS Confederation said GPs would only become 'fully engaged' if they were paid through the quality framework or enhanced services.

The confederation also listed a string of reservations over how the matrons plan would work. In a briefing to PCOs, it said it had doubts over whether IT systems could cope and was concerned over shortages in staff and specialist skills (see right).

Last week, a Government-funded evaluation of the Evercare pilots ­ on which the matrons plan was based ­ found barely any effect on emergency admissions.

NHS Confederation policy manager Jo Webber said: 'In the quality framework a lot is on long-term conditions and I'm hoping they can be merged. They are a major part of what GPs deal with on a day-to-day basis.'

But the RCGP said the matrons scheme should 'go to the back of the queue' and that it would not be a good use of quality money.

It came as a survey of GPs involved in the Evercare pilots found they were 'evenly split' over whether active case management ­ targeting proactive care at a small number of high-risk over-65s ­ was worthwhile (see above).

A third of GPs raised concerns over its ability to cut hospital admissions and 38

per cent said they doubted whether it was worth the money. But 71 per cent felt the pilots should continue.

NHS Confederation

misgivings

over matrons

·Lack of information support

Information services are not capable of collecting data across primary, secondary and social care teams

·Workforce shortage

It is unclear how many community matrons are needed and local skills shortages could confound implementation

·Education needs

Community matrons will need a high level of education to become supplementary prescribers and GP mentors will have to be on hand to oversee training

By Emma Wilkinson

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