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Registrars still waiting for pay rise

Scores of PMS practices have still not signed their new

contracts because of long-running disputes with PCTs over funding.

Practices are fighting PCT attempts to deprive them of thousands of pounds worth of superannuation contributions in their baseline budgets.

Trusts were given a 3 per cent increase in funding for PMS to cover superannuation and appraisal, but many

have failed to pass it on.

GPs have also reported managers making repeated attempts to alter contracts without getting practices' agreement.

PMS practices were supposed to have signed their contracts by October last year. Those operating without contracts risk having terms and conditions imposed on them by PCOs.

Avon LMC said around 60 practices had not signed their contracts because of confusion about baseline funding. LMC chief executive Steve Mercer said trusts had made 'numerous' efforts to alter contracts unilaterally.

GPs had resisted PCTs' attempts to make all PMS practices sign the same contracts last September. Mr Mercer said: 'There's a sense of profound frustration. With the Avon financial deficit every practice is suspicious that PCTs are trying to make cuts.'

Kent LMC accused PCTs of having 'abysmal' knowledge about what should be included in core funding.

LMC lay secretary David Barr said practices were angry at having to have constant meetings over the issue.

Greenwich LMC said many PMS practices' queries dating back to last year had still not been answered.

GPC negotiator Dr Rich-ard Vautrey warned PMS GPs to remain 'vigilant' to any

attempt to deprive them of what was rightfully theirs.

By Ian Cameron

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