Most GPs will already net £7,500 with no extra work
Most practices are already doing enough to earn 300 of the 1,000 quality points under the new contract without a stroke of extra work, GP negotiators say.
A 300-point score would amount to an average payment of £7,500 per GP in the first year of the scheme.
GPC negotiator Dr Laurence Buckman said the majority of practices would be starting on 200-400 points and would achieve 500-700 points by 2005/6.
Most GPs in Scotland will start much higher up the quality scale because 90 per cent have gone through practice accreditation schemes which will be approved under the quality framework.
Dr Buckman said: 'Some people will see the 1,000 points as a mountain to climb and only do 100. Others will see it as reward for something they are already doing and get their just deserts.'
He added: 'It's unlikely that many practices will get 1,000 points but it is possible.'
Dr Hamish Meldrum, joint-deputy chair of the GPC, said there would be no cap on quality payments and the Government had assured negotiators there was enough in the budget for every practice to be paid for achieving 1,000 points.
But he added the cash value of each quality point could be increased if many practices fell short of their aspirations. 'After the first year, if practices are not getting near their levels, it will be reviewed.'
Practices will have to submit an annual quality report.
The contract attempts to quell fears of bureaucracy by stating that GPs will only be required to collect data that will contribute to patient care.
The primary care organisation will visit the practice annually to monitor quality achievements. An LMC representative may be involved. Visits will be more frequent if inaccurate recording or fraud is suspected.
PCOs will be under pressure from the Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection, and its Scottish and Northern Irish equivalents, to improve the number of practices getting high scores.