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GPs stripped of trade waste cash

GPs face rising expenses after NHS managers said they would not reimburse practices for expenses incurred for the disposal of trade waste.

Pulse has learnt that Derbyshire PCT has stopped reimbursing practices for trade waste, in a move that GP leaders fear will be repeated across the country.

The PCT sent a letter to Derbyshire LMC to inform them they were to stop the discretionary payments, which they have reimbursed since 2004.

The LMC said this was part of a national push to reduce trade waste payments in a series of ‘penny pinching’ moves by PCT managers.

Dr John Ashcroft, deputy chair of Derbyshire LMC and a GP in Ilkeston, said the LMC was under the impression this was happening on a national level.

He said: ‘Clinical waste [which is still reimbursed] is more expensive than trade waste  and the concern is that if GPs start getting charged for trade waste, then the risk is that more will end up as clinical waste.

‘In the longer run, it could save money to continue reimbursing trade waste. It sounds like it is penny-pinching to me.’

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: ‘GP practices can be reimbursed for some premises costs. Details of these costs are set out in the NHS Premises Costs Directions, published in 2004.

‘These directions apply to primary care trusts and include arrangements to reimburse GPs for clinical waste but not trade waste costs.’