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PCTs forced to backtrack on maternity and sick pay cuts

Two PCTs have dropped their plans to axe maternity and sick pay to GPs after receiving legal advice that the move could have been discriminatory.

North Hampshire and Blackwater Valley and Hart PCTs proposed a switch from paying 100 per cent of discretionary maternity and sickness payments down to zero.

The trusts, which have combined overspends of £3.5 million in 2004/05, have now set up a review group which will consider each case on its own merits.

North-east Hampshire LMC chair, Dr Stephen Linton, a GP in Farnborough, said the PCTs' climbdown on maternity and sick pay was 'a victory for common sense'.

He said: 'The board have stepped back from the brink because what they proposed was illegal.'

But Dr Linton warned GPs could still face rates of locum reimbursement that would potentially be discriminatory because the review group could still recommend a 1 per cent payment.

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