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GPs miss out on vaccine target pay

The MMR crisis is continuing to hit GPs in their pockets with the proportion qualifying for vaccine target pay plunging again last year, Government figures reveal.

The GPC said the figures, released by the Department of Health last week, further strengthened the case for counting informed dissenters towards targets.

The proportion of GPs achieving higher target pay ­ currently worth about £7,965 to the average three-partner practice ­ fell to 82 per cent, a drop of 2 per cent on the previous year and 7 per cent down on the year before that.

The proportion getting paid for meeting the higher target for preschool booster jabs fell to 62 per cent compared with 70 per cent two years ago.

GP negotiator Dr Andrew Dearden said: 'Having a group of people financially punished for other people's choices even though the work they're doing goes up can't be justified.'

Although informed dissent is high on the post-contract negotiating agenda, Dr Dearden said he was worried the Government would continue to ignore the issue. 'They didn't listen to strong evidence before so why should they listen to even stronger evidence?' he said.

He added: 'The figures for MMR uptake seem to have levelled out but my concern is whether they will go back up again.'

The department's figures came as other statistics suggest GPs in Scotland are beginning to turn the tide in the battle to improve MMR uptake.

Latest figures from the Scottish Executive showed 87.6 per cent uptake, the third consecutive quarterly rise. Uptake in England stands at 79.8 per cent.

·Glasgow has had its worst mumps outbreak since the 1980s with 400 cases so far this year. The spread has been linked to reduced MMR

uptake but the biggest group affected are teenagers too old to have ever received the immunisation.

Greater Glasgow health board is urging people under 25 who have not had MMR to contact their GPs.

By Emma Wilkinson

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