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Gold, incentives and meh

GPs face paper mountain for enhanced service pay

GPs who opt in to enhanced services will have to wade through a mountain of paperwork before they can claim payments.

Almost all directed and national enhanced services will require GPs to set up registers of patients and put robust call and recall systems in place. They must also provide evidence of audit and review processes.

Practices will need to input the appropriate Read codes, which will be standardised across the UK, and provide information to patients about each service.

The system, announced last week, drew complaints of low pay and excessive bureaucracy.

Professor Richard Baker, professor of quality in health care in the department of general practice at the University of Leicester, warned GPs would be 'lumbered' with too much process-based work.

The pay rates took no account of the higher workload for GPs in difficult areas, he added. 'My concern is that these are centrally agreed targets that will be rolled out based on a processed system.'

Dr Ian Dumbelton, chair of Cambridge LMC, said GPs faced a 'mountain' of paperwork. 'This is going to require a lot of administrative work to make sure the right codification is being used. Maintaining and producing effective [patient] information packs will have cost implications.'

Dr Ian Cross, a GP in Leicester, said the pay was 'inadequate' for specialist services such as sexual health care and it would be difficult to attract GPs to do the work.

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