NHS Employers and the GPC have revealed that a bid to claw back funding from the first six months of 2009/10 will mean fees for dispensing doctors will fall by 8.7%.
The move is designed to deliver an overall drop of 4.9% for the year, and NHS Employers said the figure will be revised again at the start of the next financial year.
Lead negotiator on dispensing for GPC, Dr David Bailey, said he was “disappointed” by the pay scale.
He said dispensing practices are vital, particularly in rural areas. He added: “NHS Employers has underestimated the costs of providing dispensing services.”
The fee scales will bring awards for dispensing doctors in line with the annual award granted by the DDRB to all GPs. It will be split into two, with profit moved in line with the DDRB and cost raised to reflect the national volume increase in dispensing.
A cost analysis will be launched by the Department of Health in 2010. Dr Bailey urged the Government to “deal with the unilateral withdrawal of discounts by many of the drug wholesalers, which could threaten the viability of some dispensing practices”.
Copyright © Press Association 2009
Department of Health
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“It’s another part of the attack on dispensing doctors. We are seen as being expensive and not as good as pharmacies. Proper comparisons show otherwise. Patients have shown time and again their massive support for the original one-stop shop at the GP practice. Many services offered by rural dispensing practices will disappear with dispensing profits and eventually the practices will become very unattractive to GPs as a business proposition. When that happens there will be the usual withdrawal of services to those who live anywhere other than urban areas” – Name and address withheld