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GP recruits are opting for salaried or part-time posts

GPs are poaching practice nurses from other surgeries in a bid to achieve higher scores on the quality and outcomes framework.

Newham LMC in Essex said a chronic shortage of nurses and lack of London weighting for the area made it easier for some practices to lure staff by offering higher salaries.

Dr Clare Davison, a GP in East Ham, said a nurse was enticed from her surgery six months ago and had moved again since then.

'Since the new contract we are very reliant on nurses to hit the targets. People are falling over themselves [to hire them],' she said.

Dr Davison predicted the short supply of nurses and higher pay scales as a result of Agenda for Change could hit profits, even if practices scored more quality points, and called on practices to stop competing with each other.

'There is no way profits are going to increase by 25 per cent,' she said.

'There needs to be a standard pay scale and people need to stick to that.

'We are only going to create problems for each other if we all pay way over the odds,' she added.

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