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PMS GPs may lose quality pay

PMS practices could lose out on long-term quality funding and be paid less for delivering enhanced services than their GMS counterparts under the new contract, negotiators have warned.

The GPC has been unable to secure national protection for PMS funding in its negotiations with the Department of Health.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, joint-deputy chair of the GPC, said the £1.3 billion allocated to the quality and outcomes framework over the next three years would 'probably' be split between PMS and GMS. But he warned: 'PMS will benefit but it could be patchy.

'In reaching a decision to give you the same level of payment for the quality and outcomes framework as in GMS, somewhere down the road they might say ''we're not going to do that''.'

Dr Meldrum told delegates at the Berkshire and Buckinghamshire LMC contract roadshow last week PMS practices could be paid less for providing enhanced services. 'It's not guaranteed you'll get nationally agreed rates for PMS,' he said.

'Enhanced services funding will be available to PMS, although not necessarily on the terms we've negotiated on. There's nothing to say PCOs will have to pay PMS in the same way.'

PMS GP Dr David Edmondson said he was disappointed over the lack of guaranteed long-term quality funding. 'I wouldn't think that was fair,' said Dr Edmondson, a GP in Taunton, Somerset, and executive chair of Taunton Deane PCT.

He called for the GPC to go back to the negotiating table if it secured a Yes vote.

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