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Allocations deal will rob GPs of right to say no

One issue is crystal clear in all the confusion caused by the piecemeal publication of the proposed new contract ­ GPC negotiators made no headway on the issue of forced allocations. In fact, matters are likely to get even worse than they are.

GPs' lists will no longer have an upper limit and they will be forced to accept patients with no extra funds. If a primary care organisation rules a practice cannot close its list, the GPs will have to struggle with the extra workload for a further six months before they can reapply ­ and even then they may fail.

At the same time, it will be harder for GPs to remove patients as they will have to give a reason ­ both to the PCO and the patient.

So much for the new contract allowing GPs to control their workload. If they can't even control the number of patients they have, how can they possibly control anything else.

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