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So will PMS GPs be getting a pay rise too?

The Department of Health seems to be disowning NHS guidance calling for PMS GPs to be made to work for any new money

By Richard Hoey

The Department of Health seems to be disowning NHS guidance calling for PMS GPs to be made to work for any new money



It's one of the awkward aspects of working for a weekly magazine that sometimes big news breaks in between Pulse going to press and arriving on your doorsteps.

It happened like that this week with the pay announcement from the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body.

We had no idea what the uplift for GMS practices would be when writing our story about NHS managers plotting to deny PMS GPs the same rise unless they took on extra work.

But it could have been worse. At least we didn't predict the announcement would be delayed for a month or something crazy like that, and the moderately generous GMS uplift throws the PMS situation into sharp relief.

So will PMS GPs get the pay rise or not?

Our story reported on an NHS document advising PCTs to seek ‘added value' from PMS GPs before agreeing uplifts.

It was published by NHS Primary Care Contracting, which according to its mission statement ‘exists to support the implementation of national policy', so we felt its release ‘suggested a clampdown on PMS pay was now official Government policy'.

Except that the Department of Health now says that denying PMS GPs an uplift is not Government policy.

You would have thought then that NHS Primary Care Contracting – which I reiterate ‘exists to support the implementation of national policy' - must have been acting outside of its remit and issuing trusts with inappropriate advice.

But again, the DH says not.

There is something more than a little Orwelian about dealings with Our Majesty's Government at times, and this is one of them.

The upshot though is that the advice to PCTs to squeeze PMS contracts does not have the explicit support of the Government.

That provides the perfect opportunity for GP leaders. Expect them to fight hard against any trusts that try to implement this discredited and rogue advice.

By Richard Hoey, Pulse deputy editor

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