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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Call for pensions guidance

Negotiations are never about one side winning 100 per cent of the arguments. There were many areas where the Government tried to change the statement of financial entitlement and where they didn't get their way.

Changes to payments for childhood immunisations (News, April 30) following introduction of the five-in-one vaccine were no exception: both sides had successes and losses. Although we did not win all aspects of the particular battle of the calculation formula using the new pentavalent vaccine, we have not for a moment given up on trying to address this issue.

We are seeking an urgent meeting to discuss the impact of the current system on practice income. Our preferred solution would be to introduce the concept of patient dissent into childhood immunisation.

I find it completely unacceptable that in an era when patient choice is celebrated, when the public chooses to exercise that choice ­ sadly in this case by refusing MMR for their children ­ hardworking practices are deprived of significant financial resources.

If the new government should prove intractable on the issue of informed dissent we will press for further changes to the SFE for next year.

Dr Hamish Meldrum

GPC Chair

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