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GPs need clarity in the chaos over full lists

When they first set eyes on their new contract, many GPs warned it would do nothing to end the problem of forced allocations and predicted disputes over closed lists. GPC negotiators begged to differ and chided the doom merchants for their pessimism.

But less than two months in, the naysayers are being proved right and the whole issue is in a mess. Practices are in limbo, not knowing whether to trust GPC guidance – which tells practices they can refuse patients by saying their list is 'full', but without formally closing it – or to bow to Department of Health and PCO pressure to accept all-comers or shut up shop.

This loophole should never have been left open for the Government to exploit but the priority now must be to resolve the uncertainty without delay, if necessary via a test case. What GPs need, above all, is clarity.

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