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Poor data on cash to accruals

The launch of the new pharmacy contract has reignited fears that it could undermine continuity of care and cut into GPs' enhanced service pay.

Under the new deal, due to go to a vote this month, pharmacists could be paid for providing enhanced services such as monitoring blood glucose levels.

Health minister Rosie Winterton said the contract would cut GP workload through the introduction of

repeat dispensing in every pharmacy.

But GPs are concerned that scarce PCT funds will be spent on pharmacy enhanced services, reducing the amount available to general practice.

And with NatPaCT suggesting pharmacists could work with GPs to help them hit quality framework targets, concerns have been raised over how pay would be divided up.

Dr Peter Fellows, GPC prescribing sub-committee chair and a GP in Gloucestershire, said: 'If this pot is spread to include pharmacies as well, it could dilute what goes to GPs.'

Chris Town, NHS Confederation pharmacy spokesperson, said the contract, set to go live on April 1 next year, was an effort to unite GPs and pharmacists and IT reforms would improve communication.

'You can't have pharmacists going ahead and prescribing medication without informing GPs,' he said.

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