As you report in your story, PMS could disappear as GPC begins single contract talks with Government, PMS local contracts become illogical next year when all contracts will be held by the NHS Commissioning Board.
Where PMS contracts have stimulated a better service, there must be continuing funding to support this – but we also need equitable funding to allow GMS practices to offer the same standard of service for the same money.
In many areas, GMS has become the poor relation and the GMS practices think they are doing the same job as their PMS neighbours for less money.
There is much to play for here – if all practices became GMS3, the PMS practices that suffered from the downsides of a local contract would again enjoy national negotiating rights via the GPC.
But we must preserve a system to take account of the ‘unusual’ practices, such as those catering for students or the homeless, which cannot make a living on GMS.
Is it too much to hope that there will be a levelling-up in a time of financial disasters?
From Dr Peter Swinyard, Swindon – Chair of the Family Doctor Association