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Extended hours to continue into 2011 as GPC agree pay deal

By Gareth Iacobucci

NHS Employers and the GPC have reached agreement over how GPs should be paid to continue providing extended hours and a host of enhanced clinical services for 2010/11.

The extended hours DES - first introduced in 2008/09 - will remain in place for a further year, enabling practices to continue opening beyond their standard daytime hours if they choose to sign up to the service.

The agreement also covers four clinical DESs in England for Alcohol, Learning Disabilities, Osteoporosis and Ethnicity, which will be offered based on the existing 2009/10 thresholds.

Pulse first revealed in November that the Government planned to extend the DES for osteoporosis to 2011, paving the way for a period of stability for enhanced service funding.

Following the agreement between the two parties, practices have been advised to confirm with their PCT whether they want to take up the DESs.

Andrew Clapperton, Head of Primary Care Workforce and Contracting at NHS Employers, said: ‘I am pleased that we have been able to conclude our negotiations on these important areas of the contract in a timely way and to the satisfaction of all parties.'

‘The new contract continues to provide practices with the foundations on which they can continue to deliver outstanding services to the communities they serve.'

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman, said: ‘With the conclusion of these negotiations I hope GPs will be pleased that there will be a year of relative stability in the arrangements for the delivery of services to patients.'

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman