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GPs force PCTs to boost pay for appraisals

A shortage of GP appraisers is forcing many primary care trusts to increase pay rates, a survey of appraisal deals by Pulse has found

Trusts in Leeds have increased rates for appraisers from £380 to £500 and three PCTS in Northamptonshire have also raised their rate from £120 per appraisal to £450.

Two PCTs that had refused to fund appraisals have recently struck deals. Bristol South and West PCT has agreed to pay GPs £55 an hour and North Manchester PCT is to pay appraisees £300.

But many trusts are still refusing to pay acceptable rates, insisting GPs use their protected learning time and be appraised at weekends.

Canterbury and Coastal PCT in Kent has said it can only afford for 20 per cent of its 91 GPs to be appraised this year, which means many GPs will still not have been appraised by the end of 2005, more than two years after the scheme was launched.

Leeds South PCT, which is co-ordinating appraisals for the city's PCTs, said it had seen a surge in interest since rates were increased to £500.

Dr Richard Vawtrey, chair of Leeds LMC, said GPs had demanded £500 when the scheme was set up. 'For the appraisers, £380 did not provide recompense even though it covered locum costs.'

GPC negotiator Dr Laurence Buckman said: 'The situation is improving because the Department of Health is now leaning on people, but it was its intransigence in the first place that got us into this.'

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