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QOF losers forced to extend opening hours

By Nigel Praities

NHS managers are exploiting the axing of the QOF square root formula to force practices into taking on extended hours, GPs are claiming.

In Milton Keynes – where all but one practice will lose under the QOF changes – GPs say the PCT is taking a hard line in preliminary negotiations and is likely to demand practices sign up to its Improving Access LES.

Dr Siân Whyte, a GP in Milton Keynes and a member of Buckinghamshire LMC, said her practice would lose around £40,000 a year from the changes to the prevalence formula, but that she was reluctant to open for longer.

‘It is all very well PCTs paying us to open later, but when you have to pay staff costs to do that it takes a huge chunk of that money,' she said.

Meanwhile, two further PCOs – NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Salford PCT - have added their names to Pulse's list of shame, by confirming they have no plans to support any QOF losers.

Angry GPs in Glasgow and Clyde are taking their protests to the Scottish Government, after claiming they had been told they would not be compensated for any losses under the QOF changes.

Scottish GPC chair Dr Dean Marshall said the local health board had contacted all practices and revealed they had a blanket policy not to assist any QOF losers.

‘We are taking that up with the department in Scotland because it is completely at odds with the negotiated position,' he said.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said it had yet to calculate the impact of the changes, but would continue to work with the LMC.

Salford PCT said it expected QOF losers to be supported by the rise in the global sum. ‘Some of any losses would be off-set by gains elsewhere,' a spokesperson said.

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