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Friday 28th October 2016

Managers want power to fire GPs

11th March 2010

Strategic health authority bosses are seeking major reforms of primary care contracts ahead of the need to make spending cuts in the next few years.


In discussions with the Department of Health, senior NHS managers have called for the power to “hire and fire” GPs and to be able to get rid of small practices.

Most vulnerable in the talks over the DH’s quality, innovation, productivity and prevention (QIPP) programme are the smaller practices, which are considered less able to share administration, host additional services and take on commissioning functions.

With QIPP relying on reducing referrals to hospital and moving services into the community, commissioners say they need “contractual levers” to help them address this.

They say there are huge variations in GP performance and policymakers are looking at how to incentivise GPs to reduce unnecessary spending.

The proposals are likely to become part of a new round of contract negotiations with the British Medical Association.

PCT Network director David Stout said that while some contract changes were needed but dramatic shifts were not likely to come quickly.

But he added: “We cannot exclude general practice from the quality and productivity challenges, and wider than that we need them to operate as efficient and productive clinicians in terms of referrals.”

Royal College of GPs chair Steve Field said it was important for doctors to engage in this agenda and for GPs to lead the changes.

The Department of Health stressed that the discussions are still at an informal level and not official proposals.


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