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CAMHS won't see you now

Talks to continue over Christmas

GP contract negotiators will be working through Christmas to meet the fast-

approaching January 10 publication date for the fully priced deal.

With the exception of Christmas Day and Boxing Day, meetings are set to

run throughout the holiday period.

The GPC and NHS Confederation said they still had to resolve 'a few very significant issues', but remained silent about what these were.

Pulse understands the sticking points concern pensions, the quality framework, information technology and what can be introduced without primary legislation.

GPC negotiator Dr Laurence Buckman said he was bracing himself for a last-minute intervention by ministers or civil servants.

'There are always interventions by everybody at the last minute,' he said.

'Ministers will change their minds, civil servants will come up with a bright idea, so it would not surprise me if offers get made and deals get done or things get changed at the last minute, and GPs should expect that too.'

Negotiators had hoped to complete negotiations before Christmas to allow breathing space before the contract is published and the series of roadshows begin.

Delays in data from the Department of Health have held up talks and a source close to the negotiations said the figures needed had still not been fully collated.

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