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Editor's blog Friday 11 March 2011: New GMS contract deal out; and end of NHS not as nigh as some report

You can get details on the DH view on the newly-agreed terms of the one-year extension and revision to the present GMS GP contract here.

SOS Lansley summarises it thus: "The agreement secures 4 per cent efficiency gains from primary care, in line with the requirement for the rest of the NHS. Every penny saved will be invested back into patient care, including to directly improve further the quality of patient services in primary care. There will be no increase to GP pay in 2011/12. There will however be an expenses uplift of 0.5 per cent, largely to fund pay increases for practice staff earning less than £21,000 a year, in line with the Government's public sector pay policy".

The BMA has the QOF changes online here.

Obviously, it's the next contract round that will be a defining document. Hard at present, of course, to look far beyond next Tuesday's SRM and Wednesday's Council meeting for the BMA. A weekend of loin-girding awaits.

Friday evening good news - "big cheese" Bob Ricketts not rationing care
An entertainingly far-out story can be found on the HealthEuropa website (private healthcare shrills; annual subscription a mere £720), which states that "Bob Ricketts, a big cheese at the UK Department of Health has been telling visiting analysts from Australia and New Zealand that the English government is likely to halt free cataracts, bariatric surgery, varicose veins and IVF, as it attempts to cut NHS public healthcare expenditure. Separately, a private equity source said that there are plans to stop free dentistry to people who don’t floss and brush their teeth.".

The DH media team were thrilled to get another of many queries, and said, "This is incorrect  - and a complete misinterpretation of comments that Bob Ricketts made in a private briefing. Providing the best possible care for patients is our priority. Decisions on which treatments are appropriate should be made by clinicians in the local NHS in line with NICE guidance and reflecting the clinical needs of individual patients.

"Also, there is no truth in the suggestion that the Government is seriously considering a mouth test as a basis for charging patients for NHS dentistry".