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Independents' Day

PMS GPs set for £500m quality cash

PMS GPs are set to pick up

almost £500 million in quality payments if the new GMS contract is accepted, Pulse can reveal.

The NHS Confederation said last week it expected the £1.3 billion for quality to be split on a pro rata basis between GPs on the two contracts. PMS GPs may be able to qualify for their slice of the cash by hitting local, rather than national, quality targets.

Mike Farrar, confederation lead negotiator, told Pulse: 'As far as possible we want equity around the treatment of GMS and PMS practices. I expect the level of resources to be pro rata to the numbers.'

He added that PMS GPs, who now make up 38 per cent of the profession, may be able to weave local priorities into their own quality framework.

The declaration comes after Health Minister John Hutton promised in a letter to PMS GPs they would get 'comparable investment' for quality.

Mr Hutton promised PMS the same improvements to seniority pay and pensions and a return ticket to GMS and also gave a strong hint that PMS GPs could opt out of out-of-hours even if the vote was No.

But PMS GPs said the letter still left many questions un-

answered, including whether they would be forced to adopt the Carr-Hill formula or could take the minimum practice income guarantee if they use their return ticket to GMS.

In the letter, Mr Hutton said 'further work' was needed.

Dr Bhupinder Kholi, a GP in east London who entered a PMS pilot last October, said he was no clearer on how to move between PMS and GMS. 'I'm not clear how growth money will work. It's a grey line between PMS and the new contract. It's not clear what style of PMS will stay.'

Dr David Jenner, NHS

Alliance lead on the new contract, said the letter did not 'answer all the questions' and there was no assurance on how the return ticket would work.

GPC joint-deputy chair Dr Hamish Meldrum said it was technically possible for PMS GPs to be given an out-of-hours opt-out if the GMS contract was rejected, but few PCOs would want to take over 24-hour cover.

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