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Safeguard the small practices ­ and preserve personalised care

GPs' responsibility for providing a phlebotomy service is confined to organising for tests to be carried out and dealing with the results ­ unless they are being paid for any other work.

GPC guidance released this week states practices should not be expected to carry out tests unless funded, because it is neither an essential nor additional service.

The enhanced services subgroup of the GPC said PCTs either had to set up a local enhanced service or another form of funded agreement with practices if they wanted GPs to do the work.

The guidance comes in response to the lack of such funding agreements across the UK and complaints by PCTs that they do not have enough cash for enhanced services.

'The GMS contract enables practices to withdraw such services and it is then the obligation of the PCO to commission alternative provision,' the guidance states.

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