Medicopolitical Digest

GPs warned about pilot schemes£1.2bn boost for health will not be enoughHome Office tackles underage drinking

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 26 July 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:258

GPs warned about pilot schemes

The General Medical Services Committee is warning doctors who are contemplating entering a pilot scheme under the NHS (Primary Care) Act to be aware of the implications. The committee's new chairman, Dr John Chisholm, has asked for an early meeting with the health minister on the issue.

Earlier this month the minister, Alan Milburn, announced the pilot proposals for salaried GPs and one stop shops for local primary and community health services (19 July, p 194). All GPs, not just principals, can apply before 31 October with a proposed starting date of April 1998. The GMSC is concerned that some doctors are considering applying for a pilot before considering whether they could achieve changes by remaining as independent contractors under part II of the NHS Act. There is, for example, a salaried option under the existing arrangements and the GMSC's negotiators will shortly meet health department officials on the subject.

Speakers at last week's meeting of the GMSC reported that doctors were agreeing to pilot schemes under part I of the NHS Act before they had signed a contract, without ensuring that their superannuation rights would not be prejudiced, and without knowing whether they would be able to return to their current contract. …

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