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It’s going to cost you

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This week, we brought you the news that BMA Law is charging networks thousands for advice on legal and accountancy matters.

Luckily, I have had no need to use lawyers much. But I am guessing that – at 10p per patient – a cost of £5,000 for a network to receive ‘bespoke’ advice on matters that could cost more in the future doesn’t sound extortionate.

However, there is a real principle involved here. The BMA negotiated this contract. It also agreed to an incredibly short deadline for what is a fundamental change for practices.

There is a principle at stake here

True, practices will be receiving £1.76 per patient for joining a network as part of the ‘practice participation’ scheme. And networks will receive £1.50 per patient from CCGs.

But there is a principle at stake here. If the BMA wants primary care networks to be a success, and relieve pressure from GPs, this kind of advice should be given for free (if they so wish, knock 10p per patient off the practice participation scheme).

To make practices fork out for essential advice for something they had thrust upon them will sit uneasy with many GPs.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at