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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Deprived area GPs lose battle for funding formula change

A controversial motion calling for the practice allocation formula to be revised to benefit GPs in deprived areas has been voted down by the LMC's conference.

In what would have been a major change to the Carr-Hill formula, the proposers of the motion said practices with large numbers of patients from ethnic minorities or in disadvantaged areas should be rewarded for their extra workload.

The conference voted against the whole motion, except for one section that called for practice funding to be increased 'realistically and quickly' to reflect sudden increases in population.

Poposing the motion, Dr Cornelia McCarthy, a member of Greenwich LMC and a GP in Blackheath, London, said the allocation formula 'gravely disadvantaged' GPs in London and other areas, such as Kent, which has seen a rapid influx of immigrant patients.

'I ask the GPC to campaign for the allocation formula to be withdrawn or revised so that it includes factors such as ethnicity, rapid turnover of patients and deprivation and does not remove resources from areas with the most need,' she said.

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul spoke against the motion, saying there was no evidence that large numbers of patients from ethnic minorities resulted in extra work and that the right way to fund the particular problems in London was for PCTs to offer enhanced services.

'The solution cannot be to re-open negotiations on the formula. A new formula would open up a whole can of worms and would run the risk of making the situation worse in London,' he said.

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