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Patients ‘seriously failed’ by forced switch to GMS contract

The Department of Health has been urged to step in after managers in several areas of the country have forced PMS practices to switch to the GMS contract.

The chair of the NAPC has warned the Government that managers are ‘arbitrary slashing' PMS budgets and harming patient care by their ‘insistence' that practices revert to a GMS contract.

The warning comes after GP leaders warned of ‘catastrophic' cuts to PMS practice budgets, and the number of PMS GPs fell for the first time in six years.

Dr Charles Alessi, NAPC chair, said: ‘There are patients in various parts of the country who would be and are being seriously failed by the insistence upon the adoption of the GMS national contract.

‘This is a position that NAPC considers is a failure of the current healthcare system, but one which can be and is remedied by the principle of localism.'

A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘It is up to PCTs to consider whether any existing local contractual arrangements, such as PMS contracts with GP practices, should be reviewed.

‘They have a duty to make the best use of funding and deliver the highest quality care for patients.'