The National Association of Primary Care is considering legal action against primary care trusts taking an aggressive stance when renegotiating personal medical services contracts to make savings.

The NAPC said many of its member practices were “experiencing unreasonable difficulties” and “expressing grave concerns” about some PCTs’ behaviour, including threats to terminate contracts and imposing unfair variations.

As a result, it said it was “considering further steps” to support them, including taking legal advice.

NAPC chair Johnny Marshall said: “While the association would support the withdrawal of a PMS contract on reasonable grounds - underperformance, for instance - it is vehemently opposed to the unilateral withdrawal or undermining of the viability of a contract based on an arbitrary change of direction on the part of the PCT.

The NAPC said recent Department of Health amendments to regulations covering PMS contracts gave inadequate protection against such behaviour.