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1752: A visit from the PCT

A meeting with the PCT gives Bedfordshire GP Dr Mary Hawking a heads up about changes to practice funding next year.

I never expected today to be a good day – but it could have been worse!

I went half-time three years ago, but still get called in for meetings with the PCT – and today was our thrice-deferred PCT practice visit.

I don't work Mondays – so I didn't have to deal with patients and paperwork unlike the current senior partner.

The meeting was better than I had expected: since Bedford and Bedfordshire Heartlands were fused into NHS Bedfordshire, relations between South Bedfordshire and the PCT have deteriorated.

The hot news seems to be that the Choose and Book LES will probably be funded at a lower level this coming year, and although the Extended Hours DES has been extended for another year, there is no guarantee of funding for either after that. They will probably become 'normal practice' – and unfunded.

It makes me glad we don't do extended hours. Dropping Choose and Book wouldn't bother me, but uncertain funding makes planning difficult.

The meeting only overran by half an hour. My secretary needed a referral letter which I had agreed with the consultant would be faxed tomorrow today, so no time for the QOF work I wanted to do before the meeting. Before that I had quite a bit of email about EDLs (Electronic Discharge Letters – don't get me started on patient safety!), pressure being put on some practices in a different PCT to change systems and a call from a colleague for clarification on Summary Care Record issues.

Tomorrow I'll be seeing patients all day. And you know what? I'm really looking forward to it.

Dr Mary Hawking