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Medicopolitical Digest

GPs should be balloted on primary care trustsGMC delays guidelines on confidentialityHealth secretary refuses moratorium on bed closuresHealth department sets up clinical governance teamBMA sets deadline for working time directive

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 25 September 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:858

GPs should be balloted on primary care trusts

The General Practitioners Committee has reiterated its belief that primary care groups (PCGs) in England should not proceed to primary care trusts until there has been a ballot of local GPs.

Ministers have made it clear that they do not expect a trust will be established “if it does not command the support of the relevant local PCGs” and “it is for local communities to decide whether and when to proceed to primary care trust status.” But the circulars on consultation do not specify a ballot or that there must be a majority of GPs in support. For trusts to become operational on 1 April 2000 the consultation period has begun and will end on 5 November.

The GPC chairman, Dr John Chisholm, said last week that he wanted to see trusts develop out of the success of PCGs. “There must be clear evidence that PCGs are already developing primary care and the proposal should show that added value would come from becoming a trust.” He believed that there would be very few trusts in the first year …

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