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PMS GPs fear being caught in the fallout

PMS GPs fear that PCTs may threaten their contracts if they go along with GPC guidance for cost cutting, in the ongoing dispute over pay.

Pulse understands that some PMS GPs have raised concerns that by dropping unresourced work, they may open themselves to closer scrutiny, with PCTs pulling the plug if service levels have not been met.The fear comes against a backdrop of PCT pressure on PMS contracts. After last week's joint summit, one LMC official said the meeting had heard that PMS GPs were also worried they would have to embark on further local negotiations to obtain any future nationally agreed funding increases.However, Dr Stewart Drage, GPC negotiator, said: 'To be running around frightened like rats in a hole is just inappropriate behaviour for both PMS and GMS GPs.'Dr Gary Sweeney, North Essex LMC vice-chair and a PMS GP in Clacton-on-Sea, said: 'I certainly have felt that as a PMS practice we've got to walk a little bit more carefully than you have to if you're GMS.' He said sensible PCTs would recognise that demotivating PMS practices would cost them in the long run, but warned against action that could be 'spun' as hitting patient services. He said although PMS GPs might currently feel vulnerable, doctors should have confidence in the high levels of service they provide and the GPC would always expect funding equity 'across the piece'.

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