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The waiting game

GP pay figures leaked again

Official GP pay figures have apparently been leaked for the second time in three months, stoking fears of an ongoing spin campaign against the profession.

A report in the Sunday Telegraph claimed Information Centre figures on GP earnings, due to be published this week, will show an increase of more than 10% in 2005/6.

The report predicted the figures would ‘lay bare the growth of a class of super-rich doctor', and that some GPs were now earning more than £250,000.

But Dr Brian Dunn, chair of GPC Northern Ireland and a member of the technical steering committee, which works with the Information Centre on GP-related statistics, said the report was inaccurate and ‘part of a campaign to undermine GPs'.

He added: ‘Certainly nothing came from any GPC member. It's not satisfactory that someone can operate in this way. I think they do need to investigate it as thoroughly as they can.'

The publication of the figures had been due last week, but was postponed at the last minute for ‘technical reasons'.

The Information Centre said the delay had not been requested by any external body as far as it was aware. ‘I don't know how the Telegraph got hold of those figures. If there has been a leak then that's obviously something we'll investigate.'

After a similar leak of GP workload statistics in July, the Information Centre demanded a written explanation from all those with pre-release access to the data, including ministers and department officials.


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