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A faulty production line

Secret documents pave way for new PMS crackdown

By Ian Quinn

PCTs have been given yet more ammunition by the Government to attack PMS practices.

The Department of Heath's policy implementation arm, Primary Care Contracting, has armed trusts with new advice on more strictly monitor GP compliance to contracts.

It comes in the shape of a raft of documents, being kept secret by the PCC, but understood to be based on a clampdown by trusts including NHS Coventry and NHS Heart of Birmingham, which involved the threat of termination notices for GPs.

The moves comes after the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) urged PMS practices to club together to form a fighting fund to be used to pay for legal challenges against PCTs unfairly renegotiating their contracts.

The body said it had had an ‘unprecedented number of requests for help from PMS practices' coming under pressure from PCTs to accept ‘unreasonable contract variations' and is seeking to bring together sufficient practices to contribute to a ‘legal support fund'.

‘Some 40% of practices are PMS, yet they are being treated like they are some small rump,' said NAPC vice chair, Dr Peter Smith. ‘A legal challenge is an expensive process but may well be affordable if enough PMS practices agree to pool some resources.'

The NAPC added that ‘constructive talks' had begun with the Department of Health over its claims that trusts have been breaking the law.

Secret documents pave way for new PMS crackdown

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