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Practice nurses face redundancy due to changes to GMS contract

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Practice nurse jobs are under threat due to proposed changes to the GMS contract, a survey of GPs has revealed.

More than a third (36 per cent) of respondents to the survey, conducted by Pulse magazine, warned they would be forced to make practice staff redundant if the government presses ahead with its imposed contract overhaul.

The BMA claims the revised contract, currently under consultation, involves 'more work for less money' and could cost general practices an average of £31,000 a year in QOF income due to increases in upper thresholds and the removal of the organisational domain. Plans also involve scrapping the minimum practice income guarantee.

The loss of funding could lead to a 'gradual decline in the services and the access that GPs would be able to provide' according to negotiators for the GP's Committee.

Meanwhile, community nurses in east Lincolnshire, employed by social enterprise organisation Care Plus, are facing what health unions have branded a 'savage' package of cuts to pay and conditions.

Care Plus, which provides community nursing services, specialist nursing for diabetes and palliative services, aims to make efficiency savings of £800,000 in 2013/14.

These will involve cuts to staff pay enhancements, travel expenses, sickness pay, long service awards, maternity and paternity leave and annual leave, plus 're-alignment of posts'.

Jane Miller, deputy chief executive/chief operating officer at Care Plus, said the cuts were necessary due to incremental staff pay rises plus government cuts to public sector funding.

'Nearly 80 per cent of our spend is on funding the costs of staff,' she said. 'We want to safeguard the organisation and the services it provides. When Care Plus Group was formed in 2011, we couldn't have predicted the extent of these changes, but external factors have made this situation impossible to avoid.'

Dave Monaghan, Unite regional officer, described the move as 'one of the worst examples of attacking health service staff pay and conditions I have seen', predicting patient care would be adversely affected.

In December, chancellor George Osborne abandoned plans to introduce regional pay, but said AfC needed altering 'to meet the challenges nd cost pressures in the NHS.'

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