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Independents' Day

Most GPs in line for income rise of 12 to 20 per cent

Most GPs will see their practice income rise by between 12 and 20 per cent over the first three years of the new contract, GP accountants are predicting.

The estimates ­ based on calculations using the new online ready reckoner ­ suggest GPs can look forward to a healthy pay rise, but not on the scale promised by GPC negotiators.

The figures cast doubt on the 48 per cent average net income rise GPs have been told to expect before 2005/6 by GPC joint-deputy chair Dr

Simon Fradd.

GPC chair Dr John Chis-holm moved to dampen down expectations last week when he told the special LMC conference GPs should see an

average rise in net income of 26 per cent over three years.

Paul Samrah, partner at Kingston Smith ­ which is running the ready reckoner helpline for the BMA ­ said it was 'not unusual' for clients he had tested to have projected gross income increases of 15 or 16 per cent by 2005/6.

'I haven't heard anyone say "Gosh, that's not enough",' he said. 'The biggest so far is over 22 per cent.'

But other accountants said a 12 per cent rise was a more accurate reflection of trends.

Some expressed disappointment at the projected income rise in MPIG practices.

Martin Murray, an accountant with Sandisson Easson, which represents around 1,000 GPs, said: 'About 70 per cent of practices lost out with Carr-Hill. Even with MPIG, no matter how hard you work on quality points, you are standing still.'

Dr Prit Buttar, a GP in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, said his practice would have to score 850 quality points and earn £40,000 for enhanced services to achieve a tiny income rise of £3,000 in the first year of the contract. 'I doubt very much whether we will be able to achieve this level of quality income without additional nursing time,' he added. 'It's make or break on enhanced services.'

Dr Fradd claimed a gross income rise of 15 or 16 per cent could see practice profits soar by around 30 per cent.

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