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GPs are baffled over pay

By Pulse Reporters

GPs are struggling to work out their practice income and potential pay rise for next year after long-awaited global sum details left them bemused.

Many practices were confused after their indicative budgets revealed up to half of their basic income might come from the MPIG correction factor.

Others that had expected not to need the income guarantee found they were among the estimated 80 per cent of practices which did.

Medical accountants also reported some GPs had been left baffled after their PCO only gave them basic income details whereas other GPs were given a full breakdown. The uncertainty has left GPs questioning GPC promises that average pay will rise 48 per cent in three years.

But GP negotiators moved to reassure GPs they were not worse off even if they needed a big correction factor and their income would be protected 'in perpetuity'.

Practices now have less than two weeks to agree indicative budgets with their PCO and five weeks to sign their GMS contracts. Actual budgets have to be agreed by May 31.

Dr Jonathan Harte, a member of Nottinghamshire LMC, said most GPs in the region were 'pretty unhappy'.

He added: 'There will be some improvements over the years but most people are fairly disappointed.'

Secretary of East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire LMCs Dr Russell Walshaw said some practices in the area had correction factors 'running into six figures'.

He added: 'GPs are all numbed at the ineptitude of all the departments at coming up with the goods at such a late stage.'

GP negotiators said the difference between new global sum figures and those given to GPs last year was due to the move to registered lists and the removal of the 150 quality point fine for MPIG practices.

GPC negotiator Dr Laurence Buckman insisted GPs would get their pay rise through the quality framework 'for work they are doing now'.

 · Out-of-hours, page 3

What GPs said

Dr Simon Abrams, singlehanded GP, Liverpool, said: 'I can't see which is the global sum and which is MPIG. There doesn't seem to be a clear indication of how much I am getting.'

Dr John Leonard, Falkirk: 'It's a major concern just how many practices are needing MPIG ­ a funding stream that is largely unclaimed Q&O payments.'

Dr Jane Fairweather, Ipswich: 'We have a good global figure and are not on MPIG. It's not badly skewed for us.'

Dr Grahame Mitchell, GP in Wester Ross, Highlands: 'It's confusing. I've just received it and I have no idea whether we'll be better off.'

Dr Chris Hand, PMS GP in Bungay, Suffolk: 'We were thinking about whether to go back to GMS. It would be so much easier but there's too much uncertainty.'

GP kicks himself for not getting PMS money

Dr John Ashcroft says he is 'gutted' that he passed up a chance to get PMS growth money after his practice changed from a Carr-Hill winner into needing the MPIG.

The practice in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, had a PMS application approved last year but did not pursue it because of expected GMS gains. 'We expected a 20 per cent uplift under Carr-Hill, now we find we have got an MPIG, are not going to do any better and could do worse,' he said.

'I am certain we would have been better off on PMS. We would have been able to employ another doctor.'

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