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GPs get an early peek at earnings

Practices in Coventry were given an estimate of their income for 2004/5 three weeks early by their primary care trust to calm GPs' fears over their new contract earnings.

Coventry PCT held meetings with GPs to map across their Red Book earnings to their global sum equivalent.

The meetings took place after practices had submitted their aspiration claims for achievement in the quality and outcomes framework, enabl-ing GPs to make a rough guess as to their profit for next year.

Dr Grant Ingrams, secretary of West Midlands LMCs and a GP in Nuneaton, said the meetings were particularly helpful for GPs who were likely to need the minimum practice income guarantee.

'It would have been wrong just to send the figures out,' he said. 'The meetings gave every practice a chance to challenge the people in charge.'

Dr Chris Taggart, a GP in Coventry, said the meetings were 'reassuring' but GPs could still be penalised by the disease prevalence formula.

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